UK Government releases paper looking “Towards a Smart Energy System”

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has released a paper that gives a helpful summary of how DECC will work with other stakeholders to help the country move towards a smarter energy system, including next steps planned for 2016. Read more of this post


Deployment of 33,000 LED streetlights is underway in Doncaster, as part of Doncaster Council’s Smartlight project. The streetlights are being installed and managed by Telensa, a firm providing end-to-end smart city solutions using low-power and low-cost wireless technology. Existing streetlights will be replaced by wireless LED luminaires from Urbis Schréder. The system will consist of telecells plugged into each streetlight, connecting wirelessly to a cloud-based control application, via infrequent streetlight-mounted base units.

Flexible and adaptable lighting levels will be monitored to ensure that they are set appropriately and adequately for both the time of night and the area. Power consumption will be accurately recorded for each streetlight, ensuring that the Council only pays for actual energy consumed. Both of these factors together are predicted to cut to the Council’s lighting energy bill by half, delivering £1.3m in savings annually. It will also reduce energy consumption by 8.7m kW hours and carbon emissions by 4700 carbon tonnes. Streetlight delivery can be centrally evolved over the whole of their 25 year life expectancy.

Doncaster is not the only city to be deploying an LED streetlight initiative. Many County Councils across the UK have already started to replace old street lights with new LED lights, not only to save costs but also to decrease light pollution and carbon emissions. Nottingham County Council are replacing all low pressure sodium lanterns with LED lanterns over a four year period, decreasing running costs by 60%. Plymouth City Council are investing £8 million in replacing all of their street lights with LED lights, in expectation of achieving a 70% reduction in energy use and carbon emissions. Herefordshire Council are in the final stages of converting their 9000 streetlights to LED lights, expected to save £13 million in energy and maintenance costs over 20 years.

Establishing this wireless network will also help to future-proof the city. The Telensa wireless network will allow for fast and cost-effective addition of other IoT applications in the future. For example, the streetlights could be used as a communications hub for traffic and air quality measurement sensors, or for control applications for smart parking. Wireless networks such as this will be central to the establishment and functioning of Smart Grids.