Secrets of smart CO2 reduction

In late May, Roy Burton made a presentation to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Scotland, about how to reduce CO2 in an intelligent way.

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The UK Government has committed to the ambitious goal of reducing CO2 emissions in 2010 to 20% below 1990 levels, with a longer-term goal of 60% reduction by around 2050. So how can you reduce CO2 levels without having a negative impact on your bottom line? LED lighting provides opportunities today for cutting CO2 while saving energy and saving money.

Lighting is responsible for over 20% of world electricity consumption, most of which is consumed in non-domestic applications. Investors and futurists love to chat about solar, wind and bio-fuels for energy generation. Energy efficiency gets a lot less attention, but the potential for savings is significant. Wholesale adoption of LED lighting could cut world electricity consumption by 10% — that’s a lot of CO2.

London has over 5000 traffic intersections, each one comprising an average of 10 traffic signals, making ~50,000 signals. If London were to convert those to LED lights the resulting saving in electricity alone, assuming a cost of 6 pence per unit, turns out to be almost £1 million, with a consequent reduction in carbon emissions of more than 9.5 million kg.

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This article was published in the July/August 2008 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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