Sponsored content: The Greek island of Leipsoi installed solar street lighting to reduce emissions and increase the safety of the population. This is a model that can be used across the EU
According to lighting company Signify, solar technologies offer a unique opportunity for European Union recovery plans.
In response to the economic impact of Covid-19, the Union is proposing a comprehensive recovery plan for the continent, with a focus on adapting to the digital age and investing in cleaner and more resilient technologies for the future.
Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, argues that Europe can jump straight to solutions like solar as part of its Green Deal, dubbed “Europe’s man on the moon” by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
According to Allied Market Research, the global solar energy market was $ 52.5 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow to $ 223.3 billion by 2026, greatly accelerating the scale of renewables. One of the fastest growing segments of solar technology is street lighting.
“Solar street lighting technology has made leaps and bounds in recent years and is fully aligned with the Clean Technologies Commission initiative. Only 15 street lamps can save enough electricity to power a house for a year,” said Harry Verhaar , Global Head of Government and Public Affairs at Signify.
“As a digital technology, it can be connected to sensors and controlled remotely so that future-oriented communities can switch to solar energy and take advantage of the digital age,” he added.
The company is specifically advocating the widespread adoption of solar and solar hybrid street lighting in EU member states, which will “pave the way for emissions reductions and the need for additional power plants”, particularly in more remote areas where existing infrastructure is minimal.
Signify recently installed solar street lights on the Greek island of Leipsoi in areas with no full power supply, including a playground, to help the community feel more secure.
A total of 28 autonomous Philips SunStay lights were used, combining a solar panel, an LED light, a charge controller and a battery in one housing unit. There is also an infrared motion sensor that detects movement and changes the brightness accordingly, increasing energy efficiency and minimizing light pollution.
“As we have many hours of sunshine all year round, this is a very effective and functional solution for the areas on our island that are not connected to the electricity grid,” added Fotis Mangos, Mayor of Leipsoi, adding an aesthetic design that works fits seamlessly into the natural landscape of our island. “
The power grid doesn’t always follow the island’s street layout, and the Philips SunStay installation provided an inexpensive way to light streets and paths in an unobtrusive and environmentally friendly way without digging electrical trenches.
“Solar lighting is an integral part of our commitment to sustainability and climate protection as we want to help people switch to cleaner technologies,” said Polydefkis Loukopoulos, Country Leader for Greece at Signify.
“The expansion of solar lighting in new areas of Greece strengthens our vision to provide local communities with the security that comes from high quality solar lighting,” he added.
The company also argues that taking hybrid technologies into account, solar lighting is now a viable solution in areas with only seasonal sunshine, and allowing higher latitudes to access its benefits. Instead of solar being only relevant for sun-drenched countries, Solar Hybrid extends the range of this technology to around 6.5 billion people worldwide.
And street lighting, according to the company, makes the best of both worlds.
“The company charges its batteries with sunlight and seamlessly switches to electricity from the grid on cloudy days,” said Antonio Espada, head of Signify’s public segment Europe, arguing that solar hybrid “increases the proportion of renewable energy used and for the Balancing the electricity load contributes. ”
Ultimately, the company sees solar lighting as an accessible, efficient and future-proof solution for community development that could greatly benefit Europe’s recovery.
This post was sponsored by Signify. You can find information on this in our editorial guidelines.