London may adopt the Monopole solar streetlight later this year – an urban lighting unit that illuminates roads and is powered entirely by solar power.
Danish lighting firm Scotia developed the Monopole, whose battery stores solar energy collected during the daytime. Founder Steven Scott also claims they can feed excess energy into the local grid, allowing local authorities more autonomous energy sourcing.
Preliminary versions of the devices have already been adopted in Denmark, where the company is situated. Nigeria and some places in the Middle East have also seen a roll-out of the technology.
At least £300 million would be saved in electricity costs if the UK were to adopt seven million Monopoles for its streets. More than 40 per cent of energy generated by the lights would be fed into the local energy grid, creating 4TWh of renewable energy for use, and reducing at least two million tonnes in annual CO2 emissions.
“This could effectively turn these authorities into energy powerhouses and create a larger buffer for the National Grid.” said Steven Scott in a statement. “It could even empower local authorities to establish their own micro-grids to make areas self-sufficient.”
Trials of the technology are being run in the Westminster area later this year.