Business Plan for Solar and Wind Powered Street Lights for Norway
The overarching goal of this business plan is to two-fold: (a) to obtain start-up funds in the approximate amount of five million kroner from the Norwegian government, represented by Innovation Norway; and (b) to sell or rent solar and wind hybrid powered street light-emitting diode (LED) lamps to the Norwegian government (http://www.innovasjon norge.no).
The solution envisioned in this business plan is based on proven, cost-effective technologies and will provide significant economic and environmental benefits by reducing the energy requirements for the country’s tens of thousands of street lights. Not only is there a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions because the solar- and wind-generated energy is stored in a battery, light-emitting diode (LED) systems operate more efficiently than their incandescent counterparts, with the following being among the most salient benefits:
Long life. The long life of LED lighting means that lamp changing and lamp failures are a thing of the past. LED lighting life is up to 100,000 hours. In a typical night time burning situation, this equates to approximately 25 years.
2. Reliability. LEDs, as electronic devices, offer superb reliability over conventional lamps.
3. Maintenance free operation. No routine maintenance is required to ensure continued performance, so reducing costs and avoiding the possibility of missed maintenance.
4. Energy efficient. With advanced LEDs, luminaire design, energy efficient operation is ensured.
5. Environmental benefits. Lamp disposal problems are eliminated due to the long life of LED lights, and no resources are used in routine maintenance.
6. New lighting possibilities. New luminaire designs are made possible by the small size of LEDs and eliminating the need to allow for maintenance required for conventional lamps (Solar powered LED lighting, 2011, para. 3).
7. Simply replacing traditional streetlights with LED bulbs could avoid 258 million metric tons of CO2 and save up to $280 billion per year (Trisolini, 2009).
8. Rapid adoption of LED lights by cities over the next twenty years could reduce electricity demands from lighting by 62% (Trisolini, 2009)
9. Converting the 272,000 traffic signals in the United States to LED bulbs could yield net emission savings of approximately 2,162,000 tons a year (Trisolini, 2009).
Given the significant benefits that can be realized through the use of solar-wind power hybrid LED street light systems, it is not surprising that many major cities around the world have deployed these systems in recent years. For instance, Trisolini reports that, “Los Angeles has recently embarked on an initiative to retrofit 140,000 streetlights with LED bulbs, reducing its annual greenhouse gas emissions by 40,500 tons per year (while saving $10,000,000 annually)” (p. 863). Likewise, a number of other major cities in the U.S. have recognized the benefits of LED street lights, including Chicago, where the city has saved $2.25 million a year since 2004 in street lighting costs (Trisolini, 2009).
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
The business plan envisioned herein is supported by a working group of three professionals with expertise in the field of sustainable energy. The working group has developed a set of optimal operational parameters that must be satisfied in order to bring this solution to fruition. Following the identification of a suitable vendor that can provide the supporting technologies in a cost effective fashion, the working group intends to solicit permission from the Norwegian government in Rogaland County situated on the West coast of Norway to pilot test 130 of the alternative energy-powered street lights. The operational characteristics of the 130 pilot test street lamps will be analyzed by a third-party independent Norwegian company for a period of one year in order to verify performance levels in the sometimes-inclement Norwegian climate.
The market for street lights powered by alternative energy sources is currently unlimited in Norway as well as the rest of the European Union nations. Moreover, the market has never been greater for products of this type, and the research and development environment in Norway that emphasizes public-private partnerships are highly conducive to projects of this type. For instance, Hildrum, Finsrud, and Klethagen (2009) report that, “The conditions for doing research in Norway are currently being influenced by decentralization of R&D resources to the regional level. This corresponds with a widespread belief among academics and governments that regionally-based collaborations among public organizations, private industry and R&D are crucial for innovation and value creation” (p. 256).
POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCE
As with many Western nations, funding for new business start-ups such as the company proposed herein can be achieved through four primary sources: (a) personal savings (including family and friends), (b) debt financing, (c) soft loans or grants supported by government, and (d) equity funding from venture capital institutions or informal investors. In Norway, government-provided funding is obtained primarily from Innovation Norway, a central government-owned institution that provides business and industry development support services (Alsos, Isaksen & Llungren, 2006). Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government’s most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. Innovation Norway supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation. Norwegian enterprises have access to a broad business support system as well as financial means. Innovation Norway provides competence, advisory services, promotional services and network services. The marketing of Norway as a tourist destination is also considered one of the organizations important tasks (Innovation Norway, 2011).
By combining local industry knowledge and international networks with the business ideas and the motivation of entrepreneurs, the foundation for new successful businesses is created. Across the entire spectrum of valuable outcomes that can be realized through informed management, Innovation Norway contributes to the following:
1. Enhancing innovation in Norwegian enterprises and industry
2. Building competitive Norwegian enterprises at both domestic and international markets
3. Promoting Norwegian enterprises
4. Promoting Norway as an attractive tourist destination
5. Securing development in rural areas
6. Transforming ideas into successful business cases
7. Promoting interaction between enterprises, knowledge communities and R&D institutions.
Innovation Norway is the Norwegian government’s official trade representative abroad (Innovation Norway, 2011). The goal of Innovation Norway is to assist Norwegian businesses grow and find new markets. Local presence is therefore of crucial concern to the organization and ease of communication is paramount. With headquarters in Oslo, Innovation Norway is also currently represented in more than 30 countries worldwide and in all Norwegian counties. In addition, Innovation Norway is closely affiliated with the Norwegian embassies and consulates and interested parties can find organizational representatives and advisors worldwide (Innovation Norway, 2011).
POTENTIAL SOURCES FOR SUPPORTING TECHNOLOGIES
Some of the most important operational characteristics of the solar-wind powered street LED lights will be that their battery systems must be capable of remaining operational for at least one week without additional energy input or human assistance and that they are compatible with existing emergency services and surveillance camera installations where they are used. A representative sampling of vendors that could satisfy this and the other material requirements for the initiative envisioned herein is set forth in Table 1 below.
Potential Solar-Wind Powered Street Light Vendors
Qingdao Bofeng Wind Power Generator Co., Ltd.
No.269 Beijing Road, Jiaonan, Qingdao, China (www.qdbofeng.cn)
The company offers a relatively inexpensive 300-watt wind and solar hybrid street lighting system.
$1,400 per street light FOB China
Duggal Energy Solutions (www.lumisolair.com/)
Sturdily constructed, the company’s street lamps use both wind and solar power and have been installed at varied locations including New York City, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as new installations in Washington, DC and at the University of Hawaii.
$12,600 per street light, FOB New York
Urban Green Energy
(http://www.urbangreen energy.com / index.php)
These solar/wind powered street lamps are mounted to a standard galvanized steel pole that can be made locally and easily swapped with older street lamps. The turbine on top can be either a 300 W. 2nd Generation vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) or a horizontal axis wind turbine. Mounted on the side of the pole are 2 solar panels made by F3 Solar that are capable of generating up to 80 W. Of power.
-No lamp changes — sealed for life.
-Fully controllable with excellent colour rendition
-Multi combination outputs.
-LED Life expectancy — 25 years +
Prices vary by distributor
Green Column (http://www.wirefreedirect.com / green_column.asp)
The wind and solar powered solution delivers free, renewable energy which is stored in a battery ready to be consumed when darkness falls. Green Columns are already in use all over the UK on footpaths, playgrounds and car parks. (Note: Product’s current battery lasts up to 10 days in mild weather, but only 4-5 days in inclement weather conditions.)
Prices vary by distributor
The following questions will be submitted to potential vendors for the solar and wind powered street LED light systems needed for the initiative envisioned herein.
1. What is your standard length of the masts?
2. What material is they made of?
3. Do you have you alternatives available?
4. What IP level do you have?
5. How many watts and volts?
6. What brightness do your lamps produce (do you have any measurements on this)?
7. Which size of batteries do your lamps use?
What are the physical dimensions of the batteries?
8. Where on the lamp are the batteries located?
9. How long does your lamp operate on one charge?
10. How much LUX dos your lamps supply, and what wind speed / sun is minimum to achieve this level.
11. References for your completed projects.
The responses to these questions and the prices that are quoted for delivery to the Norway facility will determine the optimal strategic partner for this enterprise. In order to take advantage of their expertise in this area, the working group expects to collaborate with the national industrial development agency, Innovation Norway, for this purpose.
Alsos, G.A., Isaksen, E.P. & Ljunggren, E. (2006). New venture financing and subsequent business growth in men- and women-led businesses. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 30(5), 667-670.
Hildrum, J.M., Finsrud, H.D. & Klethagen, P. (2009). The next generation of national R&D
programmes in Norway: Consequences for action research and regional development.
International Journal of Action Research, 5(3), 255-257.
Innovation Norway. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.innovasjonnorge.no/Contact-us/.
Solar powered LED lighting. (2011). Bright Green Energy. Retrieved from http://www.wire freedirect.com/LED_solar_street_lighting.asp.
Trisolini, K.A. (2009). What local climate change plans can teach us about city power. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 36(4), 863-865.
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