Denmark ranks first in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the biennial scorecard by Yale and Columbia universities measuring environmental health and ecosystem vitality in 180 countries. Denmark excels in almost every indicator of the index, having long made significant commitments to energy efficiency, air quality, advanced sanitation, and solid waste management. In addition, Denmark leads the world in the breadth and depth of its programs to tackle climate change, including a recently announced target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.
Taking into account historic data on environmental performance, EPI recognizes most countries made significant progress over the past decade. However, the 2020 EPI reveals that global progress on climate change has been halting, as some critical investments to address climate change are trending in the wrong direction. Fortunately, Smart Lighting seems to be telling a different story.
We know that energy usage is expected to grow by 35% in 2030 at global level. Lighting accounts for 19% of the total usage and around 40% of a city’s energy bill, so a smarter management of streetlights represents an excellent opportunity for local governments, both from a financial and an environmental perspective. If we reduce the need for energy, we lower our bill, at the same time we decrease the impact over the environment and climate change.
First step is turning streetlights to energy-efficient LED lamps, immediately saving up to 70% in power consumption and related costs. As the price and quality of LED lighting continue to improve, costs will lower and lower. Up to 25% more power can be saved when transforming the lighting infrastructure into a smart, sentient network, thus enabling full remote management and control of single or grouped luminaires. Remote on-off control, dimming, and scheduling functions are quick wins of IoT street lighting solutions.
But public lighting is also one of the most actionable and ready-to-implement technologies for cities to transition to a low-carbon economy. Have you ever thought of lamp posts as the starting point of a city-wide smart network?
Street lighting is like the nervous system of a city, connecting almost any district and street with access to power. It can easily become a sensor platform, growing efficiency even further and providing vital data for a myriad of urban applications. Example of services that can be deployed together with smart lighting include traffic light controls and traffic management, smart parking and electric vehicle charging stations management, air quality and noise monitoring, up to pervasive WiFi and broadband connectivity.
No wonder Smart Lighting is a very sought-after asset of cities, increasingly investing in standard-based, interoperable IoT platforms to support current and future urban applications. If relying on agnostic technologies and open data models, Smart Lighting pays for itself thanks to the energy and efficiency savings, and the benefits for increasing sustainability and overall quality of life (including public safety and crime prevention).
Smart Lighting offers measurable advantages from Day 1: need more information? Learn more about our PE Smart Urban Network platform for Smart Lighting and Open Cities, and contact our experts for a demo!