The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have given their support to fourteen developing countries including Uruguay, Dominican Republic and Jordan, who all plan to phase out incandescent lamps.

In July 2012 the fourteen countries took part in the Global Efficient Lighting Partnerships programme, with a view to increasing energy efficiency in developing countries.  The fourteen countries are set to join 50 countries that are already planning to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2016.

The countries planning the phase out of incandescent bulbs are reported to have received support from a public. Private partnerships led by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility. This is to be boosted with the help of Osram, Philips Lighting and the National Lighting Test Centre of China.

Argentina, China, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico and Vietnam as well as others have already phased out or are planning to phase out incandescent bulbs. According to UNEP’s executive director Achim Steiner the removal of inefficient lighting is ‘one of the most cost effective ways to contribute to the reduction of global carbon emissions’.  Steiner also elaborates how countries who have phased out incandescent lighting are experiencing ‘major financial savings, generating green jobs and seeing a reduction in mercury, sulphur dioxide and other pollutants from power stations’.

UNEP’s statistics show that an incredible five per cent of the global electricity consumption reported to be £70 billion could be saved each year through the use of more energy efficient lighting.  Although  LED lamps are still expensive as an initial investment for customers especially in these harsh economic times. They are becoming more viable due to procurement by governments, sub subsidies and tax incentives as the shift towards LED lighting will allow countries to transfer from incandescent lighting straight to LED technology explained UNEP.

UNEP have been working with the International Energy Agency to conduct assessments in 150 countries to show the potential benefits of energy efficient lighting,  . UNEP have also compiled a world map showing policies on lighting efficiency.

The findings of the assessment show that changes to LED lighting within Europe means that they could pay for the initial investment with the money saved within four months and in countries like the United Arab Emirates within ten months. In India switching to energy efficient lighting could save up to 41.3 TWh annually, which represents a 36 per cent in the country’s energy consumption for lighting. It would only take nine months to repay the initial cost for India.

Electronic research company IMS have produced a report that suggests that global energy savings worth £68 billion over five years can be achieved with the adoption of retrofit LED light bulbs. The figure of £68 billion takes into account the cost of lamps, the cost of energy consumption by the LED light bulbs and is based on the number of LED lamps replacing incandescent worldwide.

Jonathon Eykyn co author of the IMS report states ‘At a time when the world is struggling to balance the use of more sustainable power access to low cost power sources to support economic growth, LED lighting could be a large part of the solution’.

IMS experts have also predicted energy savings for 2012 would reach 30 gigawatt hours simply from upgrading incandescent bulbs to LED light bulbs. Based on this data by 2016 with the widespread adoption of LED light bulbs, the reduction is set to reach more than 300 gigawatts per year. Which over a five year period would equate to £68 billion of savings which is an energy saving of over 800 gigawatts.

The report also explains how household savings will increase over the coming years as LED lamp prices begin to fall.

According to IMS the forecasted rapid growth in the LED marketplace is expected to rapidly increase as customers become more exposed to the long term saving benefits, which are associated with LED technology. According to Ryan Sanderson who was an author of the IMS report ‘The environmental impact that global adoption of LED lighting will have is colossal’.

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