Smart Cardiff Lights the Way
Cardiff is to become a shining example with its bid to deploy 10 billion highly efficient, low cost and environmentally friendly LED lamps and luminaries around the world.
The capital of Wales has become the largest municipality in the world to become a ‘Smart City’ after installing 14,000 smart, connected LED street lights. The move will reduce its electricity needs for lighting by an estimated 60% and save the council £750,000 a year.
Toby Morgan, LED Project Support Manager of The Climate Group, said in a blog that if cities around the world followed Cardiff’s lead then huge energy savings will be made. He said: “The savings are both immediate and significant. For 1 billion LEDs, the savings are equivalent to the electricity used by 300,000 homes, or 30 medium-sized power stations and the CO2 emissions of 12 million cars.”
Each lighting point in Cardiff’s street lighting network is connected wirelessly with a centralised management system, permitting real-time adjustments to be made, and thus cutting electricity consumption further, over and above the savings made by a switch to LED lighting.
The Climate Group has started an LED Scale-Up programme to encourage cities around the world to follow Cardiff’s lead. It is a part of The Clean Energy Ministerial’s ‘Global Lighting Challenge’, which aims to see 10 billion LEDs installed around the world.
Lighting currently accounts for 15% of global electricity consumption — more than the electricity generated by all the nuclear power stations in the world — and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. An overnight global transition to highly efficient lighting could avoid more than 800 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to displacing 684 coal-fired power plants for a year.
The field of LED lighting systems is rapidly evolving, with new developments constantly coming on stream. Technology from both established firms as well as ambitious and energetic newer companies, such as Bulgaria’s Octa Light is driving the market forward and achieving efficiency savings considerably better than those available just a few years ago.
OPEN Cleantech Equity Fund portfolio company, Octa Light, caters for every sector of the energy efficient lighting market, such as major retail outlets, sports arenas, schools, municipal parks, petrol stations and other facilities.