Smart lampposts could save EU €2.1bn a year
New smart lampposts that use 50-70% less energy than conventional street lighting could save the EU €2.1bn (£1.9bn) in annual bills and maintenance costs.
That is according to new research from the Sharing Cities programme, which reveals that the annual saving could pay for more than 20,000 extra doctors every year.
The lampposts also feature air pollution monitoring capabilities and can guide cars to empty parking spaces, potentially reducing congestion, improving health and economic growth.
Traffic jams currently cost EU member states €100bn each year, while air pollution has been linked to 500,000 premature deaths across the continent annually.
“We are on the precipice of a smart lamppost revolution,” said Sharing Cities programme director, Nathan Pierce. “Smart street lighting is helping to tackle some of the issues that mayors have grappled with for decades.”
“Smart lampposts generate massive savings equivalent to employing tens of thousands of doctors or nurses every year. It’s key that cities embrace them in a bid to free up money to be spent on vital public services."
Approximately €3bn is spent on conventional lighting in the EU every year, with these new lampposts potentially reducing costs to €900m, replacing a network in which 75% of all street lights are more than 25 years old.
The Sharing Cities programme is testing more than a thousand of the lampposts across London, Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw, with the aim of delivering initial scale-up of up to 56,000 units.
It is hoped these tests will later be replicated in hundreds of cities across Europe, with millions of people potentially benefiting from next generation intelligent street lighting.
“Smart lampposts are a win-win,” Pierce continued. “They help slash energy bills for taxpayers and make cities a more pleasant environment in which to live and work.
“Sharing Cities is pioneering smart lampposts in cities across Europe and this is just the beginning.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM