- Category: Business
16 Aug 2011
- Published on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 00:05
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By L.J. Polintan
In a meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, government representatives from 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean signed a United Nations Environment Program-backed initiative that will phase out incandescent lamps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while saving energy.
The participants at the meeting of the en.lighten initiative focused on exploring opportunities for governments to formally participate in a global effort to transition to efficient lighting as a climate mitigation measure.
The en.lighten initiative, funded by the Global Environment Facility in partnership with the U.N.E.P., along with global lighting manufacturers Philips and Osram, was established to promote, accelerate and coordinate global efforts to push for efficient lighting.
In recognizing the benefits in switching to more efficient lighting, the representatives showed their support for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by signing the Santo Domingo Declaration, which states that the phase out of incandescent lamps is one of the easiest ways to reduce GHG emissions while achieving significant energy and financial savings.
Through the en.lighten partnership, market adoption of efficient lighting alternatives will be promoted while restricting the global supply of inefficient light bulbs. Apart from this, other integrated approaches will be utilized.
These approaches will include an adoption of globally harmonized minimum energy performance standards for compact fluorescent lamps by December 31, 2015, which will lead up to the eventual phasing out of all inefficient lamps and setting up of a monitoring, verification and enforcement scheme in countries that will ensure compliance.
Other approaches include giving support to the participating countries by establishing initiatives in waste management and efficient lighting, and technical support.
Making the switch
According to the backers of the initiative, shifting to efficient lighting technologies would cut the world share of electricity used for lighting from 19 percent to 7 percent, enough to close 705 of the world’s 2,670 coal-fired plants.
When it comes to energy saving, over 409 terawatt hours yearly would be saved – approximately 2.3 percent of the global electricity consumption. The switch would also result in an annual carbon dioxide reduction of 246 million tons.
Under the initiative, a country lighting assessment – which provides estimates of potential energy savings, carbon dioxide reductions, and financial gains by switching to efficient lighting – has been conducted on its member countries.
Results show that in the 20 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, 4 percent of total electricity consumption would be saved if inefficient incandescent lamps were substituted with compact fluorescent lamps.
That percentage translates to a total of $4 billion yearly of savings for consumers in energy bills and an equivalent carbon emissions of four million cars.
The savings in energy could also lead to the closure of eight large power plants, producing a total of 500 megawatts.
But the country delegates who were present in the meeting all agreed that in order to promote the use of efficient lighting, the challenge of increasing consumer confidence must be addressed.