India to save up to $6 billion from LED lighting upgrade

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12 January 2016

NEW DELHI: India could save up to US$6 billion per year under the government’s current plan to switch to light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs by 2018.

The announcement was made by Piyush Goyal, Minister for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, at an event at the Harvard College US India Initiative in Mumbai.

"When all the 71 crore conventional bulbs are replaced by LED bulbs it will result in a saving of 100 billion units of electricity," said the Minister.

As The Climate Group’s LED projects have proven, the energy and money saving potential of energy efficient lighting such as LEDs around the world is unprecedented – particularly in India.

India’s lighting sector alone is responsible for about 18% of the country’s total power production, which compares to a global average of just 13%. Offering potential energy savings of 50-70%, large-scale adoption of LED lighting could bring the figure for India down to the global average, significantly cutting its carbon emissions as well as the need to build more energy plants. 

Street lights offer one of the greatest energy saving opportunities. To date, there are 35 million street lights in India, consuming 3,400 megawatts (MW) of energy. The government estimates that an upgrade to LED lighting could reduce power consumption for street lighting to 1,400 MW – a decrease of almost 60%.

Krishnan Pallassana, India Director of The Climate Group comments: “This announcement highlights the incredible potential for energy efficient lighting in India. The Climate Group has been a long supporter of energy efficient LED lighting as one of the most actionable and readily available technologies to cut emissions in cities around the world. In the post COP21 landscape, it is crucial to remember the vital role that energy efficient lighting will play in helping governments around the world to reach their carbon emission targets.”

The Government of India has been very supportive of energy efficient lighting so far. In January 2015, the Prime Minister Modi launched the National Program for LED-based Home and Street Lighting. The initiative aims at encouraging LED lighting by targeting installation in 100 Indian cities by March 2016, and remaining cities by March 2019 – upgrading a total of 770 million bulbs and 35 million street lights. The initiative is already way ahead of schedule.

To accelerate adoption of energy efficient lighting in India and the rest of the world, over the past two years The Climate Group has worked with Philips Lighting and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation on a global consultation program for cities and municipalities.

Initial findings from our global consultation were presented in ‘The Big Switch’ report, which was presented at Climate Week NYC in September 2015. At the global summit, we also called for every city and utility around the world to seek to switch to LED lights (or as energy efficient as) by 2025, and launched our ‘LED=Lower Emissions Delivered’ campaign to support cities, utilities and governments around the world in achieving this target.

Following a consultation workshop we held in New Delhi last year, The Climate Group is now in the process of organizing a follow-up workshop to explore the potential for energy efficient lighting in the broader South Asia region – enlarging our reach to also include Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

This post is part of our LED=Lower Emissions Delivered Campaign.


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by Arianna Tozzi

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