Despite the fact that it has been ungodly cold here in Maine, global warming is not going away. While scientists can’t be sure when our oil supplies will run dry, we can see the threat foreign oil poses on national security. As I said in earlier posts, China is still growing rapidly and could out bid us on any oil shipments. The recent Russian gas line squeeze showed us again how vital fuel can be to our national security.
We can’t ignore the fact that our energy infrastructure needs some greening. Where to begin? Why not start with our street lamps and stoplights? There are an estimated fifteen million street lamps in the U.S. The average light fixture draws 120watts, though some can consume up to 250 watts. That’s 1800,000,000 watts drawn. No small potatoes.
Solar powered lamps would eliminate all of that. The lights can run for up to 12 hours on a single charge. That’s more than long enough for anywhere in the US, except maybe Alaska. Plus these lights last up to 100 times longer than conventional lamps further reducing maintenance costs.
There is also a safety advantage. On the current system, when the power goes out street lamps and stoplights do not function. This is an undeniable safety hazard. If our systems were powered by solar this safety issue would disappear. A town in Florida has already implemented solar power on its street lamps, lessening the safety hazard of hurricane induced power outages.
Many cities in the US and around the world are already taking advantage of this smart technology. Boise, Idaho, Seattle, Mass Maritime Academy, Cape Verde, and Laos, have already begun implementing solar street lamps just to name a few.
The need for greening the grid is clear. The technology to do it is there. Why are we wasting time? You’ve got a stimulus ready for the country President Obama? Well you should be stimulating green energy growth with solar street lamps.