Solar streetlights promise to shine spotlight on low-carbon city planning

Danish lighting company Scotia unveils new range of solar-powered streetlights that promise to turn local authorities into ‘energy powerhouses’

London may take a lead in zero-emissions street lighting later this year if plans go ahead to install the first wave of a pioneering streetlight that illuminates streets and feeds energy back into the grid using only solar power.

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The Monopole street light, developed by Danish solar lighting firm Scotia, collects solar energy during daylight hours and stores it in a battery for use after sundown. Not only do the lights generate enough energy to power themselves, they can also feed energy back into the local grid to turn local authorities into “energy powerhouses”, according to Scotia’s founder Steven Scott.

Scotia unveiled its new range of Monopoles at a German trade fair last week. Earlier versions have already been installed in Denmark, Nigeria, and the Middle East and the firm is now hoping to install two trial streetlights in the London borough of Westminster as part of Transport for London’s strategy to roll out solar energy across London.

According to Scotia, if all of the UK’s seven million streetlights were switched to Monopoles, it would save more than £300m in electricity costs and generate more than 4TWh of clean power per year. Some 40 per cent of this would feed back into the grid, saving more than two million tonnes of CO2 every year, it added.

“Instead of being a drain on national grids and a huge expense for local authorities, Monopoles turn streetlights into mini power stations,” Scott said in a statement. “They’ve already proved to be hugely successful in our pilots in Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and we anticipate demand will be high from around the world.”

 He added: “This could effectively turn these authorities into energy powerhouses and create a larger buffer for the National Grid. It could even empower local authorities to establish their own micro-grids to make areas self-sufficient.”

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Source: businessgreen

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