Mapping the photovoltaic potential of the roads including the effect of traffic

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After developing the methodology, we applied it to the case of the Netherlands highways. We show that the average irradiation on the Dutch highway network is around 880 kWh/m2/y, 35% less than the potential of an optimally tilted conventional PV system in the south of the Netherlands. Covering the entire 1600 km of the Dutch highways network with solar road modules of poly c-Si, mono c-Si and CIGS would respectively generate 5.2 TWh/y, 6.6 TWh/y, and 3.4 TWh/y of DC electricity. This could be used to fully power the Dutch national public lighting demand. Moreover, to include the effect of traffic on these values, a model was developed to account for the energy potential reduction due to vehicles shading. Using real traffic data from two of the top-four busiest roads in the Netherlands, the A12 and A16, it was found that traffic accounts for an average of 3% reduction of solar road irradiation and DC yield potential. The maximum reduction of 9% was observed in particular locations, such as bridges and nearby ramp roads. The result of such mapping methodology could serve as a useful tool for research advisory, private industry, and governmental projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-442
Number of pages16
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Photovoltaic (PV) technology
  • Solar potential map
  • Solar road
  • Traffic shading
  • Urban PV


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