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Monday, October 21, 2013

Turning out the lights

I am not sure what to think of this, but according to the Telegraph Cambridge City Council has come up with an innovation that could see the bog-standard street lamp becoming redundant.

The Council have covered an historic city pathway with ultraviolet particles which turn blue when the sun sets, in what could be the future of street lighting:

The technology, called 'Starpath', absorbs light during the day before emitting the artificial glow in the evening.

It is thought technology could one day replace streetlamps as a cheaper and more energy efficient form of lighting.

The technology is currently being trialed at Christ's Pieces in Cambridge and now the council have revealed they could adopt the path elsewhere in the city.

Cllr Andrea Reiner, the executive councillor for public places, said: "This is an interesting idea that the surfacing company asked if the council would like to explore for a trial period.

Of course if any council can afford to cover all footpaths in this way, even through a rolling programme, it may signal a major reduction in potholes as well. Though what sanctions will be used against a statutory undertaker that fails to reinstate a path with the material will be an interesting debate.

I think this is best left as an interesting experiment for the time being until we all get used to the idea.

With gas & electricity prices going up, perhaps local authorities in Wales could go into the Energy supply business; and provide cheaper energy for it's residents whilst generating some income for the Local Authority?
Or even get people to sign up to this: http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=2870,3148,6800,6809&parent_directory_id=2865
Anon (10:54)> any ideas about what the local authority can use to get 'cheaper energy'? A power station? If so, what will be the cost to build one ... electrical energy has to come from another energy source - and if that source is going to power homes, businesses, hospitals, schools it had better be a reliable one or the local authority would also have to pay for stand-by kit if that energy source is wind-power. There is no such thing as 'cheap energy' unless the energy source is cheap - which in the UK it isn't. The UK has turned its back on cheaper sources of energy and will be forced to import natural gas and build nuke power stations - both very expensive sources of energy with all sorts of problems and issues and EXPENSE! I don't suppose Cardiff council is up for building its own nuke powered electricity generating plant or a natural gas plant and it can't burn coal from 2015 ... for some strange reason Brits demanded the government use renewable energy sources without realizing they are not cheap energy sources! Wind is free - but harnessing it is expensive in so many ways. New power lines have to be built across rural landscapes, noise from rotating blades (including infra-sound which travels for miles), bird deaths from collisions with the huge rotors, if the wind is too strong or too weak the wind-turbines don't work (hence the need for standby plant which adds to the cost). I do wish physics and the simple principles behind energy transformation physics was taught to all pupils but hey, Welsh schools can't even cover the 3Rs - hence the dreadful PISA data).
In addition, running mega-huge 'renewable' wind-turbines or conventional power plants burning natural gas or running using nuclear fuels require an ENORMOUS engineering pool of talent - so huge a local authority could not efficiently pay for or operate such a work-force - the engineers needed to design and run such equipment, the maintenance staff, the chains of supply, huge amounts of expertise is required... ya must know, simply switching to cotton shopping bags is not going to help none.
that may also have ecological implications ...more flies ewtc
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