Encouraging government commitments to scale-up LED lighting in cities around the globe

26 Jun 2017

Light emitting diode (LED) technology offers one of the most actionable and ready-to-implement ways of supporting the transition to a smart-enabled, low-carbon economy. Currently, lighting accounts for 15% of the world’s electricity consumption and 6% of global CO2 emissions.[1] By affecting a global switch to LEDs, we can save over 1,400 million tonnes of CO2 and avoid the construction of 1,250 power stations. In particular, moving to energy-efficient LED street lighting can help us save up to 50-70% of energy, as well as helping modernise critical ageing national infrastructure, developing smart city concepts, and boosting new Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives and data services. The opportunities are many; addressing them, however, requires more commitments and actions from governments and policymakers.

To engage stakeholders on the significant energy savings potential of LED public lighting systems, The Climate Group –a UK-based international non-profit organisation- launched the 2017 edition of its Global LED Consultation update in March. The new update builds on over six years of work highlighting the benefits of LEDs and connected public lighting, and provides updates on a range of lighting topics raised during the consultations with stakeholders around the world.

“Over the last 2-3 years we have been holding consultation events and workshops with cities, regional agencies, policymakers and financiers with the core aim of supporting global scale-up of LEDs,” explained Dr. Peter Curley, LED Program Manager at The Climate Group. “The early city consultation findings were outlined in our Big Switch summary, and we use our updated consultation handouts to raise and discuss common topics and to help guide cities as they assess and plan LED adoption. This latest 2017 consultation handout includes very recent examples and themes that we hope public lighting stakeholders will find useful as they explore LED options.”

The Climate Group has made a call for every city and utility around the world to switch to LED street lighting (or as energy efficient equivalent) by 2025, and encouraged policymakers to define clear long-term strategies to drive adoption.

Governments can play a significant role in accelerating LED deployment. High-level government leadership brings recognition to LEDs as a major and immediate national energy efficiency opportunity and creates wider awareness of the impact of LED technology. It also helps drive supporting local policy, critical stakeholder alignment, and standardisation of projects, which in turn help build confidence in public and private sector funding solution providers. In recognition of this critical role, other international initiatives are also acting to gather government commitments to LED deployment, for instance the Global Lighting Challenge (GLC) of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which is run by the IPEEC-CEM Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment initiative (SEAD). The GLC has commitments to future global sales of over 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality and affordable lighting products, and has been endorsed by 17 governments to date. Besides engaging government officials, the GLC also encourages participation by manufacturers and private companies, showing the broad scope for action. These initiatives can together help governments and policymakers seize the opportunity offered by LED lighting and drive efficiency forward.

For more information on The Climate Group’s LED projects, contact LED@theclimategroup.org.

To join the Global Lighting Challenge or for more information, click here.

[1] http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/lll.pdf