Renewable Energy Generation and Distribution from Road Network Assets

The Scottish road network uses around 65,000 road lights, signs and other roadside electrical assets which are essential to make journeys safer. The annual energy consumption for operating these assets is 37 GWh with expected cost of £4.2m (excluding VAT) for the 2017/18 financial year.

Whilst upgrading of road lighting luminaires from current high intensity discharge lamps to LED type luminaires is helping to reduce energy consumption and therefore operational costs, further efficiencies may be achieved through the wider use of renewable energy. Renewable energy proposals include conversion of energy to electricity from one of or a combination of solar, wind, water, acoustic and vibration sources.

It is important for any promoters/developers coming forward with candidate renewable energy products for use on the road network that their proposals demonstrate the level of power output claimed, reliably, safely, and within acceptable total lifetime costs.

Consequently, Transport Scotland, in consultation with the SCOTS and Local Authority (LA) representatives, identified a need to develop a process for assessing proposals for renewable energy equipment (energy generating devices) from road network assets. The process was developed in consultation with Atkins Limited with funding provided by the Scottish Road Research Board (SRRB) and facilitates consideration of proposals from inception to delivery, through evaluation and development. The process recognises existing good practice within the Scottish Government, UK and Europe.

A guidance note is included to assist potential promoters in developing a sound business case that provides robust technical evidence for energy generating devices. The notes incorporate many lessons learnt from previous experience, and so should help developers to avoid common pitfalls.

To obtain a copy of the guidance note and evaluation process, please contact the relevant trunk or local road authority.