Buenos Aires LED Streetlamp Retrofit — 125,000 Streetlamps Being Replaced With LEDs

by Nathan

Buenos Aires is about to undergo an enormous streetlamp retrofit; 125,000 outdated streetlamp bulbs will be replaced with new, energy-efficient LED bulbs provided by corporate giant Philips.

The new LEDs are expected to reduce the Argentinean city’s energy use by as much as 50% — and thus notably reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions.

Argentina's 2013 LED streetlight replacement program
Argentina’s LED streetlight replacement program. Image Credit: © Philips


The 13-million-person-strong city awarded the contract for the enormous LED retrofit to Philips as the result of a recent public bidding process. The new LEDs from Philips — in addition to greatly reducing energy use (and lasting much longer) — provide a number of notable improvements over the lighting system that they’re replacing, including: improved visibility, reduced crime, and improved color perception.

TreeHugger provides more details:

Buenos Aires in Argentina is the second biggest city in South-America, with about 13 million people. To light up the city at night requires over 125,000 street lamps.

As you can imagine, that uses a lot of energy, and costs a lot of money (both for the energy and maintenance when the lamps need to be replaced).

But the city has decided to tackle this problem in a way that should save energy, and thus reduce pollution, make neighborhoods safer at night, and reduce maintenance expenses.

It’s estimated that if cities around the world made a switch to LED tech like Buenos Aires, savings would add up to €130 billion ($180 billion) in reduced energy costs each year.

It would also prevent 670 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere each year. Not bad for streetlamps!

Large LED streetlight retrofits are becoming increasingly common in some parts of the world (note the recent world record for one in Los Angeles).

Not really all that surprising when you consider how huge the cost savings can be, and the fact that many local governments are now on the lookout for means of reducing their energy bills, as energy costs have been rising notably in much of the world in recent years.

Also see: Intelligent Street Lighting Saves 80 Percent on Energy.

This article, Buenos Aires LED Streetlamp Retrofit — 125,000 Streetlamps Being Replaced With LEDs, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Nathan — For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. – Ecclesiastes 3:19

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The Economist online — Watts Next? | MY COMMENT

What will be fueling the world in 2030?
The Economist online | January 25, 2012


“THE world will consume 40% more energy in 2030 than it does today, according to BP’s World Energy Outlook, though the rate of growth will decrease…” — The Economist

Global primary energy use
Global primary energy use

On sustainability front-runners, Germany, Spain and Argentina

Germany, Spain and Argentina are getting close to 25% of their electricity from solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power. It’s a safe bet that within five years, those targets will be met or exceeded.

On top of all that, Germany is shutting down it’s entire nuclear power industry by 2022 and is ahead of schedule there too. (They’re German’s after all!)

A new industry is taking hold in Germany, the UK and in other European countries – pure vegetable oil is being used to fuel (formerly) diesel cars and trucks.

It’s NOT bio-diesel as there is no petroleum diesel mixed into the veg oil fuel. Bio-diesel is a different product altogether, but IS available there as an optional fuel. (minor alterations are needed to the vehicle in order to use each different kind of fuel)

See: http://www.vegoilmotoring.com/eng/


On German environmental law

“The 2012 EEG sets a minimum requirement of not less than 35 percent of renewable energy in electricity supply by 2020, not less than 50 percent by 2030, not less than 65 percent by 2040 and not less than 80 percent by 2050.

However, the law actually sets a target of between 35 and 40 percent of supply within the next decade. This conforms to a decision made by the Ministry of Environment in 2010. Rather than reducing its commitment to expanding renewable energy, Germany has codified a more aggressive target than in the previous law.”

This quote is from:


At the same time as all the above is occurring

The UK has already dropped it’s feed-in tariff for sustainable electricity. Germany is lowering theirs twice within a 12-month period.


It’s a simple equation, solar panel prices have dropped dramatically in the past 24 months, which is why Solyndra (and others) failed.

In 2011, China passed both the U.S. and Germany as the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines.

Here’s a basic, but excellent link for you:


On conventional nuclear power

Many nuclear plants are getting close to the end of their lifetime. It is often less expensive to build new, state of the art nuclear plants – than to refurbish or renovate old plants to meet modern standards – as the Japanese are now finding out.

A majority of Japan’s 54 nuclear plants are shut down for inspection since the Fukushima disaster. Japan has just inked a deal with Saudi Arabia to purchase more oil to make up for the loss of all that nuclear power generation. How much more oil? THREE TIMES Japan’s total 2010 oil imports from all sources!

See: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article560501.ece


On ‘Modular” nuclear power:

To help you get up to speed in the modern nuclear power age, here is some general info.

Old, large nuclear plants all over the world, are nearing the end of their (safe) lifetime. They need to be decommissioned as soon as time and circumstance allows. Germany is decommissioning all their plants by 2022. Japan has shut down most of it’s 54 nuclear plants – a few may restart if, after rigorous inspections they are deemed safe enough.

The trend now is towards much higher safety and security standards and much smaller nuclear power plants – so called ‘modular’ nuclear power.

Here’s a great link for modular N-power:

If you need more info on this use keywords “modular, nuclear, power” on Google, plenty of info there.

Modern and safe, modular nuclear is the perfect partner for solar and wind power – as N-power can quickly ramp up to meet demand (at sundown) or when wind speeds suddenly drop. Nuclear does this far better than any other electrical grid partner.

The sore point with nuclear for decades – apart from old, obsolete N-plants has been ‘spent’ fuel rods. Some types of fuel rods require secure storage facilities and continuous cooling for 20,000 years(!) which significantly add to the cost of nuclear power.

Those old rods are hot and can become very dangerous if allowed to come into contact with the atmosphere, or if mis-handled in any way. Terrorist incidents are always a danger with both nuclear plants and long-term storage facilities, again, adding to the overall cost of nuclear.

Yet, there is a solution if the option is chosen. France’s nuclear power plants can ‘burn’ our ‘spent’ rods and eventually render them into a low radioactive state and France can store those (almost) fully-spent rods. The cost to dispose of N-rods in this way are much lower than 20,000-year storage.

Safe transport to France is imperative.

What I have outlined above is not the entire solution to all of our electrical power generation requirements, but can be considered huge steps in the right direction.

We need voices on this to make it happen.