Responding to Climate Change 2007
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Development - Carbon Reduction

Financial and environmental saving in street lighting

Philips Lighting

Redbridge, UKDuring the last ten years a new generation of energy saving lighting technologies has been developed which addresses some of the fundamental issues we face today - such as energy consumption, global climate change and the need to maintain economic competitiveness.

Figures show that if all the energy inefficient lighting in the European Union were upgraded to the latest technology solutions - for domestic, public and private sectors - the annual running cost savings would be over four billion euros, equivalent to CO2 savings of 8 million tons per year. This is more than 50 million barrels of oil per year or the equivalent CO2 consumption of one billion trees.

Municipalities, financial institutions and political leaders have an important role to play in actively encouraging, promoting and helping to accelerate the adoption of these energy saving and CO2 reducing technologies. Global energy demands are increasing, energy prices are rising and Kyoto targets for reducing CO2 emissions are becoming more challenging. Efficient lighting technologies can make a major contribution in reducing both energy consumption and CO2 emissions. These energy-efficient lighting solutions and products are available on the market today and can be applied now.

There are many places where this is already happening. Gent in Belgium won the 2004 International City people light award for its new lighting design using energy efficient lighting technologies. However the current rate of market change is slow. Half to two-thirds of all Europe’s lighting is still older energy inefficient technology which, at present rates, will take another generation to replace - despite the fact that quick financial paybacks are demonstrable.

Street lighting

Approximately one-third of Europe’s roads and motorways are still lit using cheap, but inefficient, 1960s technology: the so-called mercury vapour lamps. These 35 million outdated lamps consume twice the electricity necessary and create a cost burden for both local authorities and taxpayers while producing high CO2 emissions. Current changeover rates are 3% per year, meaning it will take more than thirty years for the full financial and environmental benefits to be realised. This is simply too slow.

The new generation of lighting technology offers fast paybacks on initial investment and delivers better quality lighting. Figures show that if mercury vapour lamp and gear systems were replaced by the latest technology, city councils would save up to 700 million euros in running costs per year and Europe would substantially reduce its CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tons - taking a big step forward towards reaching its Kyoto targets.

2005 saw the launch of a new breakthrough in street lighting called CosmoPolis. This system uses less than half the energy of mercury vapour lamps, provides a far higher quality of light and again has industry leading low levels of mercury.

The green facts

Europe could reduce 3.5 million tons of CO2 emissions per year by switching HPL - High Pressure Mercury Lamps - to the latest road lighting technology such as ceramic metal halide lamps.

This is equivalent to the CO2 consumption of 175 million trees. This represents the annual consumption of 12-14 million barrels of oil. This is the equivalent annual output of two power stations (1000MWE). The latest lamp and gear technology is up to 65% smaller than its predecessors and allows for tighter beam control and less light pollution. Only half the material is needed to create new fittings or luminaries and therefore less transport is needed to move stock, with resultant CO2 savings.

The latest street lighting technology also continues the downward trend in contents of hazardous substances, with industry leading low levels of mercury.

Philips Cartoon: click to enlarge

The business facts

If the street light fitting or luminaire needs replacing, then a switch from mercury vapour lamps to more energy efficient alternatives will save running costs, allow for greater spacing due to better optics, allow for smaller lamp posts and reduce CO2 emissions. These savings will start immediately after installation.

If the street light fitting or luminaire does not need replacing, then a lamp and gear tray replacement, switching from mercury vapour lamps to more energy efficient high pressure sodium or metal halide equivalents, can have an immediate payback within the first year.

Europe-wide running annual cost savings of between 600 and 700 million euros can be realised.

An upgrade would support the Lisbon agenda with its European competitiveness drive.

New energy efficient lighting technologies provide a unique win/win/win opportunity: the environment gains because of fewer CO2 emissions, the taxpayer and user gain because of lower energy costs and economic competitiveness is enhanced with consequences for jobs, investment and exports.

Philips: click for web site

Berno Ram
Philips Lighting
Tel: + 31 40 27 58969

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