Not far from the House of Commons, a stone’s throw from Westminster bridge, two streetlamps will soon be erected. Paid for by Transport for London, these are no ordinary lights. According to their manufacturer, they could play a major role in tackling Britain’s energy crisis. The Monopoles, unveiled at a German trade fair last week, convert sunlight to streetlight via photovoltaic (PV) panels. The energy they generate can then be stored in a battery and used during the night to power the lamps. As a result, the “zero-emission streetlight” eliminates electricity costs. But not only do they generate enough energy to light themselves, they create a surplus which can be sold to the National Grid, potentially making millions of pounds for Britain’s local authorities, for which running streetlights costs an estimated £300m a year. Many councils are now dimming their streetlights or switching them off, raising fears of an increase in accidents and crime.
Observer 20th March 2016 read more »