Texel first municipality with zero-energy public lighting

26 April 2013

Thanks to subsidy from "Het Waddenfonds" and "De provincie Noord-Holland" Texel and the participation in the interreg IVB project Cradle to Cradle Islands will completely replace its public lighting before the summer of 2014 by zero-energy lighting. "All public lighting on Texel will be completely carbon-neutral, which suits us well! The sun contributes to the nocturnal darkness that we and our visitors on the island so appreciate. This brings us one step closer to achieving our ambition to be fully sustainable and self-sufficient in 2020", says Eric Hercules, alderman Sustainability.

Texel is the first municipality in Europe which generates as much sustainable energy, as the entire public lighting uses. This is achieved thanks to smart solutions and new technologies. The public lighting will only be lit when and where needed. Additionally, all light fixtures will be replaced by energy efficient LED fixtures. The required energy is generated sustainably by solar energy on the island. The large amount of annual energy and maintenance that is saved, ensures that the plan is financially very attractive. 

 

The plan, commissioned by the municipality, was prepared by the design and consultancy firm Vigor Novus. Prior, there have been several pilot projects on the island with lighting to match the user demands and wishes for light and darkness. The livability and safety of the inhabitants and the visitors can be strengthened this way. The entire lighting on the island will be dimmed after 11 o'clock at night, when there is less traffic. In addition, in places where there's no traffic anymore at night, the lights are turned off after 1 o'clock. In other places, such as roundabouts, it's sufficient to have small lights placed in the pavement. In remote regions active or passive markings such as reflectors suffices. This way there's only light when and where it's really needed. Thanks to these solutions, only one-third of the current energy is required. The combination of this large amount of energy saving and the generation of renewable energy through solar panels makes the project unique in Europe and probably the rest of the world as well. Therefore the European Regional Development Fund Interreg decided several years ago to support the municipality of Texel with the launch of the project.

The total investment for the project amounts about € 3.5 million. Thanks to the energy savings of 65% and lower maintenance costs, the investment will be recovered within 15 years. Moreover, "Het Waddenfonds" pays about 40% of the investment and "De provincie Noord-Holland" almost 10%. Therefore the investment can be realized immediately. The municipality of Texel and its project partners show that the plan is not only sustainable, but over time will also save money. Therefore, the municipality hopes not only to inspire its own inhabitants to follow the example, but also other governments.  

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