The total annual cost of public lighting in Spain is 450 million euros, double that of neighbouring countries. According to Hella, a multinational expert in the area of lighting and electronics, Spanish towns could save between 60% and 80% of the energy consumed by exterior illumination by using more efficient lighting based on LED technology. At present Spain pays out 450 million euros per year for its public lighting, twice as much as for other countries such as Germany, according to comparative data for the sector
According to experts, the cost of energy used for public lighting is one of the budget headings where the greatest savings can be made, particularly when you take into account that local government owns 95% of street lighting.
In addition to the energy savings generated by LED systems, the minimal maintenance costs need to be taken into account.
The life cycle is 12 years (50,000 hours) as opposed to 3 years for current lighting systems: Spain replaces about 250,000 of its 4,2 millions streetlights per year.
In fact, according to a recent study by researchers in the astrophysics department of the Complutense University in Madrid, no Spanish province will fulfil the criteria of the 2008-2012 Strategic Action Plan for energy saving and lighting efficiency. At the same time the rate of annual increase in costs in this area exceeds 5%.
Germany has almost twice the population; it uses half as many kWh per inhabitant. The case of the town of Lippstadt is significant: with 450 LED technology street lamps, the town has made annual energy savings of 117,000 kWh, with a significant reduction in CO2.
(Residuos, Spain, www.revistaresiduos.com)