Indian government slashing costs of LED lights for households

14 October 2014

NEW DELHI: As innovative light-emitting diode (LED) technologies continue making groundbreaking progress around the world - and with the Japanese inventors of blue LEDs being awarded the Nobel Prize last week - India is stepping up to the plate by slashing the prices of LEDs.

According to an official statement released by India's Power Ministry, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), by working closely with electricity distribution companies (discoms), a business model has been developed that enables EESL to buy LEDs in bulk and sell subsidized lights to households at a meager INR 10 (US$0.16) against the market price of INR 400 (US$6.50).

The impact on India's climate action efforts could be huge: LED lamps can cut CO2 emissions by 50-70% as they use one-tenth of the energy of a normal incandescent bulb and half as much energy as a traditional compact fluorescent lamp, to produce the same amount of light. 

LED DEMAND

With the growth of larger production capacities in India, a surge in domestic demand is anticipated which will likely lead to a further decrease in the cost of LED bulbs. On top of this, the savings accrued through the sale of subsidized LEDs will eventually be repaid to EESL by the discoms.

The Government statement went on to add that EESL managed to procure two million LEDs under a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Indian State of Andhra PradeshState Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu launched the program, under which two high quality LED bulbs each will be provided to 3.7 million households at a subsidized cost of INR 10.

The Power Ministry also intends to provide LED technology to all below-poverty line households at the time of electrification under the initiative Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyuthikaran Yojana.

LIGHTING UP INDIA

Praising the government decision, Aditi Dass, Director Programs, The Climate Group, commented: “The LED technology in India has come a long way in India and the Power Ministry’s decision to sell LED bulbs at subsidized prices serves as a recognition to the massive energy saving potential that low cost energy efficient LEDs offer. This also falls in line with The Climate Group’s continuing endeavor to promote faster adoption of the LED technology in Indian cities.”

Previously EESL – a joint venture of four central public sector undertakings in the power sector – successfully managed several projects to install LED street lights and a 750,000 LED bulb replacement project for households in the Indian city of Pudhuchery.

The Climate Group promotes energy efficient LED technology through its LED Lighting program and a series of global workshops are being conducted this year to address local barriers to scale-up.

By Shuvait Koul

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