German Town Of Gescher Installs 5 Solar Street Lamps That Don’t Work At Night – For 28,000 Euros!

Update: Bernd Felsche points out that it’s only 5 street lamps (and not 9)!
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Last time I spoke to common sense, I was told that lights are devices used to shed light – when it’s dark outside. But apparently not any more – at least in one German town. It seems that street lamps there have become devices that are powered by sunlight in the daytime, but don’t work at night (when most people have difficulties seeing). Hat-tip: Wolfgang Neumann at FaceBook.

solar-street-light

Solar powered street lamp (example only – not the ones in Gescher). Public domain photo.

German ZDF public television recently had story about how this summer the town of Gescher in the Muensterland region of North Rhine Westphalia installed new solar powered street lamps for the handsome sum of 28,000 euros (roughly $32,000). The 5 lamps are supposed to illuminate a 1500-meter stretch of a bicycle/pedestrian path to make it safe for children on the way to a sports facility.

The don’t work at night when they’re supposed to!

But the ZDF reporter tells us there’s just one small problem with the solar powered streetlamps:

…the new designer lamps have one very decisive disadvantage: When it’s nighttime in Muensterland, the expensive lamps unfortunately remain dark.”

Residents are shaking their heads at the botched investment, calling the project “senseless”, “a waste” and “absurd”.

ZDF tells viewers that during the day the sun was supposed to charge up the street-lamps batteries which in turn would power the lamps at night. But that just doesn’t seem to function. The lamps remain mostly dark at night. One resident comments: “They should just install a sensible line with sensible lamps. But the city just doesn’t listen“.

Gescher burgermeister Thomas Kerkhoff doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. He defends the installation of the lamps, telling ZDF television:

For the exterior area of our sports facility we wanted to offer our bicycle riders, citizens and children a safe path, and thus five lamps are better than no lamps.”

Better (even if they don’t function).

This is just one example of many of the absurdity that can occur when green madness sweeps over the collective intelligence.

 

48 responses to “German Town Of Gescher Installs 5 Solar Street Lamps That Don’t Work At Night – For 28,000 Euros!”

  1. Bjorn Ramstad

    I wonder why I’m not surprised or shocked.

  2. David Johnson

    That is an unbelievable response from the mayor!

    1. DirkH

      You’ve seen nothing yet. A CDU official, Lübcke, in the Giessen area, told listeners at an information event about the new refugees centre, those who do not agree with CDU refugee policy are free to leave the country.

      Our political caste is of a breathtaking arrogance.

  3. sod

    there are several good comments there:

    ” ganz so kann man es nicht rechnen, die Kabelverlegung für 1500 m Strecke kostet überschlägig 60T€, eine normgerechte Beleuchtung mit einem Lichtpunktabstand von 30 m in LED Technik ca. 75T€. Gibt gesamt an Invest 135 T€”

    and this one:

    “Wie viele Radfahrer habt ihr in dem Film gesehen, die Nachts im Dunkeln auf dieser Strecke fahren. Richtig keinen. Und das liegt nicht am fehlenden Licht. Im Herbst, Winter und meist auch im Frühjahr fahren nachts keine Kinder oder Frauen Fahrrad. Also braucht es um diese Jahreszeit auch keine Straßenlaternen. Im Sommer funktionieren die Lampen ja. So manipulativ kann die Presse sein”

    In short: in Winter few people ride the bike. And conventional lights get pretty expensive, because they need a cable connection.

    In short, this might be less stupid than it is made to sound. There are very stupid examples of renewable technology, but this is at best a mediocre example.

    1. DirkH

      Entertain us.
      Give us a stupider example than lights that don’t work when they are needed.

      Oh I see.
      Wind Turbines.

      Ah yeah that’s a good one.

    2. Bernd Felsche

      Poor translation:

      Im Herbst, Winter und meist auch im Frühjahr fahren nachts keine Kinder oder Frauen Fahrrad.

      It says that children and women don’t ride bicycles there at night in winter, autumn (fall), and seldom in spring.

      What about the men? And what about pedestirans in general?

      And isn’t the argument “recursive”? Women and children may not feel safe riding there in the dark (one of those interviewed mentioned it); because the path isn’t illuminated. i.e. if the path were illuminated, women and children would feel more at ease using that path in the dark and therefore use the path.

      In summer, there’s daylight or plenty of twilight until very late anyway.

      Your comment sod is consistently way off the mark. Lighting is supposed to illuminate when it’s dark. Instead of acknowledging that the lack of lighting is the issue, you grasp at straws to justify the absurd.

      The lamps are not fit for purpose.

      The installation is grossly inadequate; lamps are need at least every 200 metres or their angle of illumination presents excessive glare to motorists on the adjacent road. A closer spacing is required if the poles are as low as shown in the video; perhaps as close as 50 or even 30¹ metres. So 5 lamps for a distance of 1500 metres is patently insufficient. Of course buying enough of the solar toys (i.e. ten times as many) for “proper” illumination quickly brings the cost of solar vs grid-connected in very close proximity. Total of €280,000 which still wouldn’t provide any light for most nights of the year; when the light is needed.

      Suddenly the €135,000 for hard-wired LED lamps doesn’t look too bad.

      ¹as quoted by you above. “eine normgerechte Beleuchtung mit einem Lichtpunktabstand von 30m”

      1. sod

        Listen to the text or look at a map. The bike lane leads to a sport centre

        https://www.google.de/maps/place/Ahauser+Damm,+48712+Gescher/@51.9660252,7.0089636,2250m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x47b85cbf52fd9781:0x51fa7c893f2654fd?hl=de

        It is outdoor only, so there will be little traffic in winter.

        http://www.neues-sportzentrum-gescher.de/index.php?goto=sportzentrum.html

        There will also be little traffic in the middle of the night, so a couple of hours in the evening is fine. And most adult men will travel there by car if they feel unsave 1000 m from the village.

        If you look at the facts, this story turns out to be stupid and the lamps are at least ok.

        1. Greg

          This makes it sound more stupid not less. The sun goes down earlier in fall and winter so you need lights longer. Activity times don’t change for all activities. People will go for a walk at 8pm and not need light in summer because it is still light from the sun. In winter they need light after 6pm.

          1. sod

            ” Activity times don’t change for all activities.”

            They do in this case. Look at the pictures:

            http://www.neues-sportzentrum-gescher.de/index.php?goto=sportzentrum.html

            This is pure outdoor sports. It will not be used in heavy rain or when there is snow cover.

      2. John F. Hultquist

        Bernd,
        Your statement “The lamps are not fit for purpose.” is much like a statement I use often. I work on hiking trails in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. We have about 20 tools we use regularly. These vary from small hand-held clippers to 7 feet long crosscut saws and iron pry-bars (aka rock bars). Each trip we explain each tool. Safe use is a priority. If a tool is not getting the job done the advice is to get one that will. Don’t dig with an ax or chop with a shovel, and so on.
        ~~~~Lights. In the small area where the clothes washer is, we had a double tube fluorescent fixture. To replace, all too often, the tubes and starters I had to stand on a stool. A couple of years ago I replaced the existing fixture with a 10 W flush mount LED. It is supposed to last for 50,000 hours. Should this prove true I will never have to change it out – someone else can have the joy of standing on a stool and working with their arms above the head.

        Indeed, the Gescher lights are not fit for purpose, the cost was excessive, and the town should have done the homework (due diligence) and installed a proper tool for the job.

    3. GP Alexander

      Making something sound less stupid, does not erase the fact that it is stupid. More Green Apologies at work I see.

      sod, to a audience of rational, articulate, and thoughtful men and women, you have just delivered the equivalent of a “the cheque is in the mail” statement.

      I wouldn’t brag to my buddies about this one if I were you.

  4. Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)

    After I got an enquiry, I started manufacture solar street lighting (to someone else’s spec). However when I tried using them myself I found they were almost useless. They could barely light a small shed let alone a huge outdoor space. It’s one of the reasons I got out of “green” products because it seemed to me the only way most of them were “green” is because the people who bought them were really gullible.

  5. Mike Lowe

    I must remember to quote this next time I see some company advertising their “superior German technology”!

  6. albert

    So what’s the fuss. It’s green energy that we need, and the more expensive it is the better, but we do not need to light up our streets and roads at night, that’s light pollution, and it doesn’t help the vandals and the criminals either.

  7. ktwop

    The underlying principle would seem to be “It’s better to spend money and do something – even if it doesn’t work – than to not do anything”.
    After all, some few get to share the €28,000.

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  9. jon reid

    THEY MUST BE MADE IN CHINA!!!!

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  11. John F. Hultquist

    Here’s an idea:

    Search for solar-powered LED accent lights or Walkway lights. These are little gizmos that come with a plastic stake – push that into the ground and set the light on top. I have about a dozen strategically placed on 2 m. high poles. Several are over gates in fences. They provide sufficient light for moving about.
    I have little ones – about $3 each. For $20-25 there are larger ones that cover more area.

    Here’s the catch: During June at 47° North we have long, mostly sunny, days. The units charge nicely and last until dawn – because dawn comes early. In December we have more cloudy skies and much shorter days. The lights do not get much charge and do not last but a couple of hours. This would be a slightly more serious issue at Gescher. A better unit is likely available.

    For the money Gescher paid it could have about 11,000 lights ($3 each) along the 1500 m. path, or one every 0.136 m. – doing both sides of a path would spread the lights out to (roughly) 4 per meter. Still, that ought to do the job.

    1. DirkH

      Yeah but most of them would be in Rumania in a week.

  12. Bernd Felsche

    Do pedestrians and cyclists get to sue the Bürgermeister when they run into the lamp posts in the dark because they’re not illuminated? Having the lamp posts is worse than not having any.

  13. Mr Reynard

    Shtoopid people…. No surprise that they have Frau Frump as Chancellor !

  14. Michael Thomas

    So solar lamps are acceptable for summertime (when they are hardly needed anyway), it doesn’t matter if they are inadequate during the rest of the year (because nobody uses that path during dark hours) and these standalone solar lights are less expensive than grid-connected lights – but what about the cost of keeping the solar cells clean and the cost of replacing degraded cells? In more ways than one, you may not see properly what a con it is. Also, how secure are those very expensive rechargeable batteries? It’s much harder to steal a power station….

  15. Ken Petkau

    The results of the AGW crowd following a fraud just keep funnier.

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  17. Bernd Felsche

    Check the commentary on the video again, Pierre. I’m pretty that the commentator says “Neuen” and not “Neun”.

  18. sod

    “So solar lamps are acceptable for summertime (when they are hardly needed anyway), it doesn’t matter if they are inadequate during the rest of the year (because nobody uses that path during dark hours) ”

    You thought that that sentence was sarcastic, but it turns out that everything you wrote is a fact.

    The outdoor sport arena will be used on warm days in summer, spring and autumn. The lamps help to illuminate the path in the early hours of darkness and typically on days, on which there is enough sunlight to charge them.

    LED lights by the way, are another one of those stupid green products, that the anti-environment people have been fighting against (save the light bulb!).

    1. DirkH

      Solar toys are just a McGuffyn for massive wealth transfer to the crony class.

      Whether they work is irrelevant.

      These don’t.

  19. Tom Hughes

    So some kind of battery and we’re back in the game?

    1. sod

      “So some kind of battery and we’re back in the game?”

      yes we are.

      Let us face the facts: The pre_LED lights used much more power. a comparison between the price of old type lights with grid connection and electricity bills will give us a higher price than similar solar LEDs.

      And price pressure will also cause the lights to switch of early (many places in Germany have street lights that turn off at certain times).

      So if we want more lights on overcast days, we might need a bigger panel, if we want longer lights we might need a bigger battery.

      Both solutions would still be cheaper than a grid connected system. And those LEDs, batteries and cheap solar panels do only exist, because their was pressure to produce them.

      And they are a serious benefit at many places without grid connection.

      1. DirkH

        “And price pressure will also cause the lights to switch of early”

        So after makeing electricity prohibitively expensive via their subsidy schemes, the warmunists now say, ah, that grid electricity is so prohibitively expensive, our solar+battery solutions are cheaper.

        One must say, your strategic destruction of infrastructure has a lot of method to its madness.

        1. sod

          “So after makeing electricity prohibitively expensive via their subsidy schemes”

          That is garbage. Those LED lights might use a factor 10 less electricity. So those “warmists” might actually have given a cheaper solution here, even if we factor in about 5ct EEG.

  20. DennisA

    A town in South Wales converted its car park cash meters to solar panels. The trouble is that in winter there are many dull cloudy days and the batteries were not charging sufficiently. The solution is to charge the batteries from the main supply at the council depot and have an operative drive around the car parks to swap out the dead batteries. In addition to the extra cost, they lose revenue whilst the machines are out of action.

    1. DirkH

      “have an operative drive around the car parks to swap out the dead batteries.”

      Green Jobs!

  21. Ofay Cat

    This tomfoolery is a direct result of whom you have voted for and elected. Elections have consequences. Canada just elected the same type of twit that would put up solar lamps that don’t work. Canada will be grinding to a halt over the next year or so.

  22. Justthinkin

    This is just one example of many of the absurdity that can occur when green madness sweeps over the collective intelligence. – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2015/10/26/german-town-of-gescher-installs-9-solar-street-lamps-that-dont-work-at-night-for-28000-euros/#sthash.hv4b90uK.6V3gHxiG.dpuf.

    Just another reason to prove most people are stupid, like in really stupid . Lights that don’t light at night. Yup. Really good. And the general populace have NO intelligence. Thanks to the general school system.

  23. Alistair

    It may not be 9 lights – but it certainly doesnt look like 1500m either.

  24. Richard

    Sounds like a battery issue. Either change the type of battery. Or make the current battery discharge slowly by increasing the efficiency of what it powers. The lesson here is. No matter the form of energy. Increasing its efficiency must be the game plan.

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  26. Ulrich Elkmann

    Ah, the rural Münsterland area. No surprise there. Also, Gescher lies within spitting distance of Beckum, thought by some (especially proud Beckumers) to be the original template of Schilda, home to the Schildburgers, the 16th-century German equivalent to England’s Wise Men of Gotham. Traditionally, these fools meet their match when trying to ban the darkness.

    http://zettelsraum.blogspot.de/2015/10/schilda-lebt-eine-munsterlander.html

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