Well, coal can burn around the clock, as long as you have enough of it. But the wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Sure, you can store power in batteries, but how much?
How about enough to power an LED streetlight, without wires, that is sure to turn on every night?
There’s a French company called Windela that has crossed a streetlight with a vertical-axis wind turbine and a solar panel. It charges up during the day, when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. At night, it shines.
According to a do-it-yourself-er who has delved into streetlight details, public lighting uses up to 12 percent of the fossil fuel produced in the world. In Fairbanks, Alaska, where it’s dark half the year, street lighting accounts for 60 percent of the city’s electricity bill, notes a New York Times’ blogger.
The hybrid streetlight received the 2009 Rethink award for the top young, innovative start-up at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris. The Windela Web site shows installations in France and Algeria.
More information is welcomed from French speakers.