How can industry remain competitive in the global market while meeting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? A recently released report by the World Bank Group and partners, A Greener Path to Competitiveness, explains that to meet these dual objectives, governments, industries and consumers must all take action. The lighting industry is an example of one area where these three entities have come together to mainstream an energy-efficient option, LED lights.
Lighting accounts for approximately 15% of global electricity consumption and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. It’s estimated that the global lighting market will grow by almost 60% during 2010-2020. Although relatively expensive compared to traditional incandescent lamps, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have begun gaining popularity with consumers in many countries and are replacing incandescent lamps, which have been on the market for over 100 years. Public policy and awareness campaigns by government and non-governmental organizations to encourage the mass adoption of more efficient lighting technologies, including LED, have played a large role in this shift. Improved product standards, definitions, and labeling have also had a big impact.
Although LED lights are more expensive than other options, labels that clearly explain product characteristics – such as the longevity of light bulbs – give consumers the confidence to purchase more efficient products for the first time, and increase the likelihood that they will make an energy efficient choice in the future.
By replacing all the inefficient lighting worldwide with more efficient options, such as LED lamps and light bulbs, consumers could save $120 billion on their electricity bills and carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 530 MMts (million metric tons).