Good Green News – or I guess you could call it the LED effect: Thanks to the use of LED lights and other energy-saving measures for traffic lights, traffic signs and street lighting, the electricity consumption of public lighting in Hamburg has fallen significantly. Since 2000, consumption has fallen by almost 40 percent, from more than 56 million kilowatt hours per year to just over 35 million in 2021, according to the Senate’s response to a minor inquiry by Rosa Domm, a Green Party member of the Hamburg City Council.
Almost 120,00 street lighting installations
At the same time, the number of street lighting installations reportedly increased by six percent to more than 117,000 during this period.
Large electricity savings were also achieved by replacing 92 percent of internally illuminated traffic signs with signs with retroreflective sheeting. While there were 6568 illuminated traffic signs in the city in 2000, there were only 556 in 2021, according to the Senate. Electricity consumption for these traffic signs dropped from nearly 2.25 million kilowatt hours per year to just over 390,000.
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Well-lit streets are important for a livable city, the well-being of Hamburg’s residents – “and even for the success of the mobility transition,” Domm said. “A good feeling in public spaces and on the way to the bus or train stop is decisive for how often public transport is used.” At the same time, she pointed out that public lighting has been powered exclusively by green electricity since 2016. “Especially in view of the current energy crisis and the intensifying climate crisis, this is good news.”
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According to the Senate figures, however, there is still great potential for savings, as only nine percent of street lighting had been converted to LED in 2021. “Further conversion will take place within the limits of available funds,” the Senate response states. At present, the plan is for around six percent of the system stock to be converted each year, it said. In the case of traffic lights, the company is already further along: in 2021, LEDs already provided red, yellow and green light in 75 percent of the installations.