CLEANTECH
Sustainable Brands Issue in Focus
Sponsored by:
CHANNELS    |    Behavior Change      Leadership      Products & Design      Supply Chain      Marketing & Comms      New Metrics    |    MORE

Trending: Norway Driving Low-Carbon Mobility with Lighting Tech, Enticing Incentives

Image Credit: Bjørn Nyland/YouTube

Norway is paving the way to a more energy-efficient, low-carbon future through new intelligent lighting technology and strong financial incentives.

The Norwegian government is rolling out a new lighting technology that aims to reduce energy consumption on the country’s less-traveled roads. The system, which is being piloted an hour outside of Oslo in the small town of Hole, relies on radar sensors affixed to light poles that can detect oncoming traffic. When not in use, the LED lights automatically dim to 20 percent of their full power.

“This is in the long term very energy-saving, environmentally friendly and, not least, economical for operations and maintenance,” said Ottar Bjørnstad, senior engineer for Norway’s Public Roads Administration.

A nine-kilometer strip of road is now equipped with auto-dimming lights, which are said to save 2,100 kWH a week. According to Bjørn Nyland, a programmer and YouTuber based in Norway, the government expects a return on investment for the project in a mere 4.5 years.

This isn’t the first time Norway has toyed with the idea of smart lighting systems. A similar auto lighting system was installed in the western part of the country just last year. In addition to reducing operating costs, the project offers Norway an opportunity to drive down light pollution and CO2 emissions associated with energy consumption.


Smart lighting isn’t the only thing shaping the future of mobility in Norway. According to new data from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), 52 percent of new car sales in 2017 were attributed to pure electric and hybrid vehicles — an eight percent increase over 2016.

This is largely due to a suite of enticing consumer incentives Norway has created, which encourage the purchase of low-carbon vehicles over those with traditional internal combustion engines. According to Reuters, new electric vehicles are exempt from almost all taxes and provide drivers with perks such as free or subsidized parking and use of tolls roads.

These incentives are backed by the Norwegian government’s desire to ensure that by all cars sold beyond 2025 be zero emissions. Similar goals are rapidly gaining support across Europe, with countries such as France and the UK pledging to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

Norway is also encouraging drivers to make the switch to electric cars by introducing financial penalties for diesel and petrol cars. In some regions, for example, diesel and petrol vehicles are required to pay higher road toll charges than their electric counterparts.

“We view Norway as a role model for how electric mobility can be promoted through smart incentives,” a spokesman at BMW’s headquarters in Munich told Reuters. “The situation would probably be different if these incentives were dropped.”

Oddly enough, the wealth accumulated from Norway’s oil and gas production — a sum of around $1 trillion — is driving the extensive incentive program. And while it has been critical in helping the country slash CO2 emissions, it does come at a cost. Electric car financial incentives end up costing Norway 3 billion Norwegian crowns in tax revenue a year.


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]


  Sign up for SB Newsletters
Get the latest personalized news, tools, and virtual media on a wide range of sustainable business topics in your inbox.

 

User login

GET THE LATEST NEWS SENT TO YOUR INBOX

 

Most Recently Viewed in the Library