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This week we are looking at sustainable solutions in the energy sector. The main source of electrical production at global level comes from fossil and nuclear fuels which are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain and climate change. Given the increasing population and improved living standards in developing countries, energy demand is set to triple by 2050.

Problem Statement: Energy consumption is one of the main sources of CO2 emissions. Hundreds of millions of outdoor lamp posts are used around the world to light up the streets, reduce traffic accidents and increase the sense of social security. However, lamp posts have old and inefficient technologies that consume a lot of power from the grid, whereas they offer only one basic service: light. 

Scope for Innovation: To reduce the energy consumption of lamp posts, innovative solutions that leverage wind and/or solar energy are needed. The shift from conventional fuels to new, sustainable energy sources enables new business models. Therefore, cities can transform street lights into carbon neutral single infrastructures that can play various roles.

Solution of the Week: Founded in 2012, Omniflow, a Portuguese startup from Porto, saw this opportunity to take lamp posts to the next level and provide sustainable smart city solutions. Their award winning Smart IoT lamp post, powered by wind and solar, transforms a regular street light into a sustainable smart infrastructure capable of housing multiple added value services such as: 5G small cell, smart car parking, surveillance, EV charging and audio for public communication. All the units have an IoT system that monitors and controls all devices through a dedicated software. Therefore, their lamp posts are able to make an impact while reducing CO2 emissions and expanding digitalization.