The IDAE, Institute for diversification and energy saving, agency under the Ministry of industry, tourism and commerce, allocated 37 million euros – more than the initial budget 17 – to replacement of about of 100,000 conventional traffic lights (30% of existing ones) by others with LED technology, with the aim of saving energy. Traffic lights equipped with LED technology, currently only 15%, they allow to save 80% of consumption power, equivalent to an annual saving of 90,000 megawatts (MWh) of electricity, or what is the same, the power consumption of more than 22,000 households. Also, they will also allow reduce demand for oil in over 20.462 tonnes annually and prevent the emission into the atmosphere of some 58,000 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide). A Plan for energy saving initiative is part of the Plan of action of the strategy of energy saving and efficiency 2008-2012 and will run this year. Once completed, the plan will benefit 27 million citizens of 584 local councils, who will receive free of charge the IDAE technology and who will be responsible to perform the replacement and installation of traffic lights. There are currently nearly 300,000 lights whose final energy consumption is estimated at 350 gigawatts per year (Gwh), equivalent to electricity that can consume a set of more than 150,000 households in Spain. Traffic lights are to operate permanently, resulting in that high consumption of energy since they are equipped with incandescent or halogen lamps.
Currently, only 15% of them have LED technology. Simple implementation from which in 1995 managed to produce the green color in a diode, this technology is has spread, including its application in traffic lights. The mechanics for its implementation consists of a mere replacement of the existing lamps by the new set of diodes.