Increasing energy efficiency sits firmly at the center of this focus. Connected LED lighting, with the potential to reduce lighting-related energy consumption by as much as 80% over alternatives, can play an important role here—not only to address energy efficiency needs in the short term, but to improve quality of life and protect the environment in the long run.
Switching all light points in the 27 EU member states to LEDs, for example, could save €65.1 billion in energy costs, and reduce CO2 emissions by 50.9 million tons, the equivalent of the annual emissions of almost 20 million cars or over 184 coal power plants.
In addition, the annual energy savings realized by switching all EU light points to LED would create the capacity to charge 55 million electric cars or power 47 million heat pumps, addressing transportation demands and rising energy costs respectively.
At a country level, the numbers are similarly compelling. A complete switch to LED lighting in Germany would deliver energy savings equivalent to the total amount of electricity the country generates from Russian gas. And in France, making the switch would save the equivalent of 70% of the electricity produced by all fossil fuels.
Focusing on what municipalities can do is equally important—perhaps more so. As Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs at Signify, explains, “At a national level, we need commitments and timelines for carbon neutrality but the real reduction in emissions and the real implementation needs to be at city level,”
For example, the LED switch would save enough electricity to charge almost 60,000 cars annually in a large metropolitan city, and around 10,000 in a medium-sized town. Scenarios like these demonstrate that the sum of many smaller-scale projects could have an enormous impact across a country or region.
“Cities may feel that replacing infrastructure before the end of its useful life is in some way a false economy but, it is quite the reverse,” says Verhaar.