Greenovate! E-STREET PROJECT – intelligent street lighting

by T. McNally R. Jonash and H. Patel

Greenovate! E-STREET PROJECT - intelligent street lightingReal world stories about innovators and innovative companies are an important way to learn and we place high value on them at Innovation Excellence. We are very pleased to begin a series of case studies on companies who have been curated by Hult International Business School and Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center) in their book Greenovate!

 CASE STUDY - BAE SYSTEMS - HybriDrive® Propulsions SystemsThe book Greenovate! documents 53 case studies that are defined by “sustainable, green innovations” (or “green ovations”). Each profile combines business innovation with a synthesized concept of sustainability, from startups to leading global organizations. The next case study in this special Greenovate! case study series is:

E-STREET PROJECT – Intelligent Street Lighting

A cross-border partnership, in the EU, to create a market for “intelligent street lighting” to dramatically reduce energy consumption


Organizations able to design, develop, finance, install and maintain lighting systems partnered to disseminate an “intelligent street lighting solution” that can be rapidly scaled up across Europe


The new system — with dimmable lights as well as advanced communication administration and lighting monitors — reduces the level of light when needs are low, saves energy and cuts pollution


Over 20,000 street lights were installed over a 30 month pilot period — the project has identified an annual saving potential of 38 terawatt hours by retrofit of old installations, which is 64% of the present annual European consumption for street lights



The Intelligent Energy — Europe (IEE) program was launched and financed by the European Union to save energy and to encourage the use of renewable energy sources


The identified business opportunities led to incenting many parties across the value chain who have expertise in street lighting to create a larger, more attractive market for “intelligent street lighting”


The outdoor lighting systems for many European cities account for nearly 38 percent of their total energy use — rising energy prices created a need to develop more effective systems



One of the main barriers for retrofitting old street lighting systems is the lack of financial resources — including a lack of financial models among stakeholders to understand the true costs and benefits


Introducing dynamic lighting also leads to more complex management system needs — especially for sophisticated, reliable, and well tested communication and data processing abilities


The initial investment costs of major retrofit projects are high because of technology requirements and are generally not funded because street lighting is seen mainly as a public safety issue



As part of the program two companies developed a “turn-key solution” for investors which calculates investment, cost savings and cash flows


The first full-scale administrative tool piloted in Oslo provided a good template for E-Street because it leveraged existing infrastructure and deployed components widely to minimize risk


After the pilot, increasing the number of units installed can significantly lower per-unit cost and deliver the economies of scale needed to drive financial savings and make the project affordable



The pilot in Oslo led to an annual reduction of 70% in energy consumption and 1,440 tons in CO2 emissions compared to the burning of oil to provide electricity for 10,000 public street lights


The E-street project has identified an annual savings potential of 38 TWh by introducing/retrofitting old installations with adaptive lighting, cutting present annual European energy use up to 64%


The solution focuses on low energy consumption combined with a high functional standard — by reducing lamp downtime it has also significantly improved driver and pedestrian safety


The pilot project in the City of Oslo has become the basis for the E-Street initiative to reduce energy usage in outdoor lighting systems in the European Union. E-Street will play a pivotal role in determining EU standards and legislation for intelligent outdoor lighting systems.

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Tyler McNally, Ronald Jonash & Dr. Hitendra Patel are co-authors of Greenovate! — Companies Innovating to Create a More Sustainable World and members of the leadership team at IXL CENTER, the Center for Innovation, Excellence & Leadership at Hult International Business School.