COP17: Philips and The Climate Group's China LED project chosen as model public-private partnership

6 December 2011

DURBAN: Philips Lighting and The Climate Group were praised for their joint solar-driven LED street lighting project in China’s Guiyang community at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban (COP17) today.

The joint project was presented as a best practice example of a public-private partnership that enhances people’s lives in poor rural communities, while spurring green growth, saving energy and combating climate change.

The project was praised at the high-level UN Momentum for Change event, which was attended by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, Jacob Zuma, President of South African and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC).  

The Guiyang LED lighting project is part of the 1,000 Villages Program, an initiative launched in 2009 by The Climate Group to provide rural communities in China with solar-powered LED street lighting. Philips contributed by donating the first 100 installations in the Guiyang project. Meanwhile, more than 40 rural villages in the areas of Guiyang, Chengdu and Chongqing have also been part of the program. 

“This is an example of how The Climate Group’s initiatives have a positive impact at on a global scale,” said Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group. “The Clean Revolution, the massive upscale of smart technologies and clean energy, can and must benefit all the citizens of the world, from rural communities in China to the inhabitants of every big metropolis. And it will be possible only through belief in innovation and leadership, supported by strong partnerships between governments, leading solution providers and NGOs – as exemplified in this case by Philips,” he added. 

“Philips is honored and proud to get this recognition for our commitment to provide meaningful, sustainable solutions to help increase the sense of well-being, comfort and safety for some 1.6 billion people around the globe who currently live without electricity,” reacted Tommy Leong, President of Philips Lighting Great China. “Thanks to the latest solar and battery developments, we can provide high-quality, reliable and cost-effective off-grid lighting that stimulates economic and social development, while avoiding CO2 emissions and saving energy costs,” he further commented.  

Changqing Ma, the Executive Vice-Mayor of Guiyang said: “Guiyang is proud to be part of the 1,000 Village Initiative. The program gave us the chance to showcase our commitment and leadership in pursuing green growth and demonstrate how successful public-private partnerships can be. Being recognized as one of the lighthouse projects by the UNFCCC encourages Guiyang to continue its commitment and efforts to form more partnerships with businesses and civil society to address our global common challenges.”

Solar driven LED street lighting provides high quality, sustainable off-grid lighting solutions in remote areas without access to the conventional electricity grid. It extends the day after sun set at affordable cost, increasing the level of safety on roads and streets and allowing for more economic and social activity after dusk. The solution is also valuable in the sun-rich cities around the equator that can take advantage of the many hours of sunlight to supplement the capacity of their conventional electricity grid, addressing growing concerns about their ability to meet the steep increase in energy demand. 

Philips has recently developed its highly sustainable Solar Gen2 solution that is said to be the world’s most efficient and cost effective solar powered street lighting solution per km kilometer of road. The key to the breakthrough lies in the combination of new High Brightness LEDs, along with unique patented optics and an intelligent controller which lies at the heart of the solution. This ensures that the maximum amount of power is transferred from the solar panels to the batteries. It also ensures that the charging and discharging of the battery happens in a smart way so as to maximize battery life, and it can dim the light levels when required based on a self learning intelligence and a history log.  

Currently, lighting accounts for 19% of global electricity production, according to the IEA (International Energy Agency). Around two thirds of current lighting is based on older, energy-inefficient technologies developed before 1970. A full switch to the latest energy-efficient LED lighting combined with smart control and management systems could provide very significant energy savings of up to 80% in many applications. Worldwide, the switch to LED could save energy consumption for lighting by 40%. This equates to approximately 130 billion euros per year in running costs and 670 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent output of about 640 medium sized power plants. In most cases it is a simple switch to make. Over two thirds of the benefit could be achieved in the commercial and industrial world.

More information about the 1,000 Villages Program can be found at and 

More information on the Momentum for Change Initiative.

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