Philips has called for a worldwide switch to LED lighting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.
The company is stating that a tipping point has been reached in the development of LED lighting so that it can now be used for general high-quality lighting in almost all applications. A switch to LED lighting will help combat climate change, save energy and improve people's lives through increased well-being, safety and productivity where they live and work, the company said.
At the Climate World Summit, a high-level side event convening representatives from the public and private sector which ended past Sunday, Harry Verhaar, senior director for energy and climate change at Philips Lighting, challenged the world's governments and businesses to make a rapid switch to highly energy-efficient LED lighting.
"LED lighting offers both dramatic savings in energy use and maintenance costs, while at the same time enhancing the feeling of safety, security and comfort of people on streets and public spaces, in buildings and at home," said Verhaar. "In fact, thanks to the latest solar and battery developments, our LED lighting solutions can provide excellent, reliable and cost-effective lighting solutions for the 1.6 billion people around the world which currently live without electricity."
Also speaking at the World Climate Summit, Philips Africa CEO, JJ van Dongen, stressed the benefits of LED lighting for African countries. "South Africa has been very proactive in recognizing that investing in energy-efficient and sustainable lighting solutions will reduce consumption and lower public and private costs, while increasing the quality of life. A shift to LED lighting solutions will allow Africa to make a technology leap in the same way as mobile phones are doing right now, and offers Africa and indeed the world very significant benefits," he said.
Currently, lighting accounts for 19 percent of global electricity production, according to the International Energy Agency. Around two thirds of current lighting is based on older, energy wasting technologies developed before 1970. A full switch to the latest energy-efficient LED lighting combined with smart control and management systems could provide energy savings of up to 80 percent in many applications. Worldwide the switch to LED lighting could save energy consumption for lighting by 40 percent. This equates to approximately 130 billion euro (about $170 billion) per year in running costs and 670 million tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent output of about 640 medium-sized power plants. In most cases it is a simple switch to make. Over two third of the benefit could be achieved in the commercial and industrial world.
This article was first published in our sister publication EE Times Europe.
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