Solar street lighting is a unique opportunity for sustainable recovery

By Claire Phillips

Lighting the way to Europe’s recovery: Signify.

This article is sponsored by Signify.

In response to the economic fallout from COVID-19, the European Union has formulated a major recovery plan for the continent with a key focus on adapting to the digital age and investing in cleaner and more resilient technologies for the future. In the U.S., the 2021 American Jobs Plan aims to steer $2 trillion into productivity and long-term growth, including a strong focus on building resilient and climate-friendly infrastructure.

With economic and climate resilience plans taking a more concrete shape across the globe, Signify believes that solutions such as solar lighting pave the way for countries to build back better. 

According to Allied Market Research the global market solar energy was $52.5 billion in 2018 and is set to grow to $223.3 billion by 2026, vastly accelerating the scale of renewables. One of the fastest growing solar technology segments is street lighting.

“Solar street lighting technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and is fully aligned with the goals of EU and U.S clean energy and economic stimulus initiatives. Just 15 streetlights can save enough electricity to power a home for a year,” said Harry Verhaar, global head of government and public affairs at Signify. “Being a digital technology, it can be connected to sensors and be controlled remotely, enabling forward-thinking municipalities to leapfrog to solar and reap the benefits of the digital age.”

President Joe Biden’s administration already has proposed $621 billion of additional investment in transportation infrastructure, with $20 billion earmarked to improve road safety and $174 billion for electric vehicles. A sizeable chunk of the latter would be spent on grant and incentive programs to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030. 

Signify advocates specifically for the wide adoption of solar and solar hybrid powered street lighting which will not only help improve road safety, but also pave the way to lower emissions and eliminate the need for extra power stations to power the street lamps. This is particularly useful in more remote areas where existing infrastructure is minimal. With the strain taken off power stations, excess capacity could be diverted towards supporting charging stations for electric vehicles.

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