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Switzerland Set to Roll out Solar Panels Between Railway Tracks–a World First

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Europe’s love of train travel is about to transform the continent’s solar energy production as the Swiss are set to begin installing solar panels in between train tracks.

The startup called Sun-Ways is waiting for a sign-off from the Federal Office of Transport to start installing their panels between the tracks near Buttes Station in the west of the country.

With the Swiss national railway network stretching beyond 2,000 miles of track, estimates place the amount of power generation at potentially beyond 1 terawatt hour or 2% of the entire gross annual consumption.

“There are over a million kilometers of railway lines in the world,” co-founder Baptiste Danichert tells SWI Swissinfo. “We believe that 50% of the world’s railways could be equipped with our system.”

A great way to incorporate solar panels into an economy is to find a place where flat ground is used by other industries, like canals, pastures, or warehousing.

Some companies use solar panels to generate power over agriculture, a strategy called “agrivoltaics” while India and California use their massive canal networks and hot sun to generate power while saving land.

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