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“Upscaling use of LED street lights” stakeholder meeting in India

Date
21 December 2010
“Upscaling use of LED street lights” stakeholder meeting in India

New Delhi, December 21, 2010: A stakeholder meeting on “Up-scaling use of LED street lights” was organized jointly by that the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and The Climate Group (TCG) on December 18, 2010, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The event was organised alongside the annual LED Expo that was held in Delhi during December 17 - 19, 2010 to exhibit recent technological developments and applications of LEDs and solid-state lighting.

The meeting was attended by more than 75 stakeholders who represented LED chip and fixture manufacturers, municipalities, development authorities, architects, Government bodies, real estate developers among many others. The event intended to bring together relevant stakeholders on a common platform to discuss large-scale uptake of LED street lights and its financing opportunities.

Shri Jiwesh Nandan, Chief Executive Officer, EESL and chief guest for the occasion, highlighted the tremendous potential that energy efficiency has for bridging the demand supply gap in India. The regulatory framework for this is provided by the Energy Conservation (EC) Act 2001 through which the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been constituted. BEE is promoting energy efficiency for household equipments, buildings, municipalities, agriculture, etc. EESL has been set up recently by the Ministry of Power (MoP), Government of India to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects and to be the implementation arm for Central and State Governments. In order to promote the use of LEDs in outdoor lighting, BEE has initiated 26 LED based street lights demonstration projects all over the country.

At the outset, Mr Philip Jessup gave a presentation on the technical issues related with the use of LEDs in street lighting and procurement issues for large scale uptake of the same by municipal corporations. A presentation was also made by EESL highlighting the business models by which use of LED based street lights can be upscaled commercially in the country. Representatives from Nichia Chemical (India) Pvt Ltd, Philips Electronics India Ltd and IL&FS Ecosmart Limited also deliberated on the issues concerned with upscaling of LED based street lights, including innovative mechanisms.

Representative from the municipal corporations highlighted the concerns related to the absence of availability of any national standards, manufacturing facility, etc of LEDs. They also pointed out that there was no meeting point for bidders and manufacturers which was a major obstacle in mainstreaming/ upscaling LEDs. It was also pointed out that some kind of guarantee from state or central governments can give financial security in case the corporations fail to repay the money because at the end of the day no financial institution would be eager to bear the risk of investment entirely on its own shoulders.

Representatives from the LED industry highlighted issues like lack of a transparent payment security mechanism, low project internal rate of return (IRR), lack of basic infrastructure for LED installation; lack of technical standards, sales tax and service tax that the LEDs invite, etc as barriers for implementation of LED based street lights.

Regarding financing of LED street light projects, it was pointed out that an effective payment security mechanism needs to be built so as to offer an element of security among the FIs thereby attracting better roles to be played by them.

The following as roadmap for enhancing the usage of LEDs in the country was discussed:

  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) brings out standards for LEDs within the next few months
  • Setting up of a neutral, trusted, testing facility in the public sector
  • Development of testing, monitoring and verification protocols for LED streetlights for Indian conditions especially control of junction temperature.

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