The inefficiency of public lighting has recently come under some scrutiny. In parts of Europe, street light alone costs local councils between 20 and 50 per cent of their energy bill, which, we can all agree, is money that could be better spent elsewhere.
So it should come as no surprise that a designer has produced a streetlight that takes all its energy from the sun and wind, rather than the cash-strapped public purse. The lights are set to be rolled out in different areas of Spain; if all goes well, they will be the first autonomous, publicly funded street lighting system in the world.
The self-powering lampposts were dreamt up by Ramon Bargalló, a researcher at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering.
The 10m tall posts are topped by twoi mini solar panels and a single wind turbine, which has a maximum output of 400 watts: