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India Overhauls Streetlights

image credit: Photo 155349609 © Aittik Sait -

Winning the war against climate change, or rather just mitigating its effects, is a daunting challenge. The cards, which we dealt ourselves to begin with, seem stacked against humanity: There’s already a whole lot of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, fossil fuels are convenient, the oil lobbies are powerful, Bolsonaro is burning down the amazon, Trump wants cars to pollute more ... the list goes on. Perhaps most dispiriting, however, is the reality of the world’s rapidly developing economies, ie China and India. Good old capitalism has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty in the two countries over the past few decades, but it also has them producing more and more CO2. 

I recently came across some good news on this front, however. India, which is the biggest greenhouse gas producer behind the U.S. and China, recently made a move to chip away at their emissions—while also taking a load off the grid. The nation will be switching out its current streetlights with smart LED ones. It sounds simple enough, but the energy savings project to be substantial. According to, where I first caught wind of the development, India will slash 1,119.40 megawatt (MW) of peak electricity demand. That equals about 4.63 million less tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. It’s a good start for the country, which, like most of the world, is committed to cutting its 2005 carbon footprint by 33-35% this coming decade, as per the Paris treaty. 

The story got me thinking about our own street lights here in the U.S.A. How many are eco-friendly? I don’t know the answer. If not all of them are, it could be an easy way to cut electricity demand. I’d love to hear from Energy Central’s more informed members.




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