The main challenges faced by the project are: 1) giving regional parties the instruments they need to cost-effectively integrate thin-film solar cells in public infrastructure, and 2) proving that this is a relevant approach for large-scale generation of renewable electricity.
The project addresses some of the key ambitions of the Maas-Rhein Euregio (EMR) Interreg programme. It contributes to strengthening the knowledge region by developing knowledge in cross-border partnerships between public-private entities - namely Solliance, SEAC, EnergyVille, and Brightlands Materials Centre - and companies at different points in the value chain – specifically materials, high-end equipment, solar cells, the mobility industry and transport.
The project aims to achieve sustainable electricity generation by innovatively integrating solar cells in public infrastructure - i.e. roads and roadside structures - which will allow energy generation to take place close to the point of use and in remote locations. In addition, it does not require additional land use and this technology can be installed in an aesthetically appealing manner. The project will therefore contribute to landscape preservation and protect the residents’ feeling of well-being.
Knowledge valorisation is achieved through the 'triple helix' approach. Local and municipal authorities get involved by setting up demonstration projects, which are funded separately from this project. These demonstration projects apply the knowledge developed in the main project, prove economic feasibility, open up a media window for generating publicity for the EMR area, and permanently strengthen the regional knowledge and economic clusters that have been formed.
As a result, the project will lead to new economic activities and create jobs, while also making a substantial contribution to CO2 reduction through the wider and more efficient use of solar energy.