The City of Light will soon run on 100% renewable energy for public lighting, while at the same time reducing electricity consumption.

The Challenge

Paris’ public lighting is iconic and contributes to the appeal of the French capital, both for Parisians and visitors. This project addresses the need to maintain the current standard of service while reducing electricity consumption, a substantial expenditure in the city’s budget.

The Solution

Dubbed “The City of Light,” Paris has 345,000 public light sources, including signage, street, and park lighting. The electricity consumption of public lighting in Paris is 150 GWh, and the energy bill for this amounted to $17.9 million in 2012. To reduce the climate impact of public lighting, the city has committed to purchasing 100% renewable energy for municipal public lighting from 2016, while simultaneously reducing energy consumption of Paris’ public lighting. The contract to purchase all electricity from renewable sources also includes electricity consumed in municipal buildings, amounting to a total of 350 GWh per year.

To achieve a 30% reduction in electricity consumption in 2020 while maintaining the current scope of public lighting, the City of Paris entered into a 10-year energy performance contract in 2011 for public lighting and luminous signage installations. After the first year of operations, the upgrades led to a 12% reduction in electricity consumption compared to 2004.

Environmental Benefits – Paris expects to save more than 40 GWh of electricity on its public lighting in 2020.

Social Benefits – Upgraded public lighting provides safety and comfort for pedestrians.

Economic Benefits – The 10-year energy performance contract provides a legal guarantee that goals are reached, with achievements assessed each year and penalties applicable in the case of non-compliance. At the same time, bonuses are awarded if observed savings exceed targets.

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2015 publication online here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Social
Key Impact
Paris’ 345,000 public lights will run on renewable energy sources from 2016
Emissions Reduction
3,900 tons of CO2 saved annually from the 30% reduction in public lighting electricity usage by 2020
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