Government can help by being a customer at the very beginning for LEDs in Space, aviation, ground military, etc. They should subsidize some research when it isn't in the immediate interests of business. They should avoid competition with private American companies unless they account for all costs and are more competitive than they have usually been.
Government didn't need to "understand and support" automobiles, personal computers or cell phones, why do they need to understand and support LED lighting?
If LED lighting is good then it will take over the world without governments.
They only have an actionable plan as far as congress will allow in their funding. Without congressional consensus the DOE is pretty much hamstrung in what they can implement. Due to the dysfunctional federal budget process over the last few years US energy policy has not advanced.
Force a public that can't afford LED lighting for themselves to pay for government facilities to have it?
Great plan pal, as a taxpayer I can only say thanks a lot.
How about requiring lighting technology in public buildings that makes the most economic sense for the building?
LED lighting isn't that great when compared to old fashioned fluorescent lamps. Requiring replacement ballasts to be high efficiency electronic types would make more financial sense in an old building than replacing all the fixtures.
For new construction of government buildings LED lighting should be used only if the LED lamps don't fail before they have paid for themselves with energy savings when compared to fluorescents (which currently takes a very long time).
The author sounds like one of those people that don’t realize that governments don't have any money of their own, don't make any money of their own and only take money from others. Some of whom may wish to use that money to retrofit their own homes and businesses with solar cells and LED lighting, as I would like to do.
I think Peter's article was pointing out that yes, when economically feasible, LED lighting will be widely used. However, due to the fact that China and Taiwan government policy has fostered and subsidized LED research, manufacturing, and installation in their home nations they will be better able to compete in the burgeoning world market for LED lighting than companies based in the west who have not had these advantages to this point. Do you disagree?
"no comprehensive energy plan or strategy"
How can you say that when we have an entire branch of the federal government taking care of us in this regard? It's called the Department of Energy and I'm sure they have a plan. After all that is why they exist.
I'm not even sure I understand why it should take any government policy to get LED lighting everywhere. If the LED lights are made compatible with existing fixtures, which is ALWAYS the smart way to go, then all it takes is half way reasonable prices. Energy usage goes way down, life expectancy is hugely higher, so it should be a no brainer. It certainly is in our home.
I thought it was rather pathetic of the US lighting industry to complain that government mandates for CFL or LED would force more business to China. That was entirely their call. If the lighting industry in the US can only manage to produce products competitively whose design dates back to 1879, I'd say they do have a problem. And they preferred to just kick the can down the road, I guess.
This kind of government policy making is increasingly mired in politics here in the US. With "green" technologies in general becoming a wedge issue. So predictably there is no middle ground to be found, and hence no comprehensive energy plan or strategy.