What Makes India's LED Story A Success
The world's second most populous country and the fifth largest consumer of electricity, India is witnessing the ever-growing gap between demand and supply of electricity. One of the biggest drivers of filling this gap will be the adoption of LED lights. While a majority of Indians still use incandescent bulbs in their homes, the adoption of LED lighting is being propagated for over five years now. The reason of slow adoption though is the price of the bulb.
The government's move for adoption of LED lights
To address the challenge of the bulb being expensive, the government in 2015 launched a Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). Under this programme, the government urges people to replace the incandescent and CFL bulbs to use LED lights. For this the government provides LED bulbs at an affordable price.
Under the programme, the government targets to replace 77 crore incandescent bulbs in India with LEDs by 2019 leading to an expected reduction in installed load of 20,000 megawatt (mw) with an annual estimated savings of over 100 million kilowatt/hour (kwh) and an annual reduction of Rs 400 billion in electricity bills. As of March 31, 2017, 33.29 crores of LED bulbs were sold across the country.
Moreover, various municipal corporations and states have also moved beyond the households. The authorities have now started replacing the regular streetlight masts with LED streetlight.
Recent success stories
*The West Bengal government has asked Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to replace nearly four lakh street lights in West Bengal with LEDs. State urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim also dedicated 56,000 LED street lights as part of the state’s Green City Mission. "Of approximately 7.5 lakh street lights in West Bengal, 3.5 lakhs have been converted to LEDs. The state government has roped in EESL to convert the remaining street lights to LEDs," the company said in a statement on August 22, 2019.
In January this year, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation announced that it planned to replace all lights with LED streetlights. In the first phase, 30,000 LED lights will be installed to illuminate the city's major thoroughfares. The second phase will take care of the important roads while the third will focus on the city's lanes.
* Union minister Harsh Vardhan on January 22, 2019 launched a LED street lighting project in Delhi. Under the project, over one lakh conventional street lights will be upgraded with LEDs at a zero cost. There are over one lakh incandescent streetlights and 2,800 semi-high mast lights in east Delhi. The project will be completed in a period of nine months. The project, according to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation's GL Meena, would lead to energy savings of 77.97 per cent in comparison to the existing energy bills.
* The Maharashtra government, on January 16, had directed the civic bodies across the state to use LED streetlights. The government also passed a resolution by the Urban Development Department banning civic bodies from raising capital expenditure for installation of LED lights by devising novel schemes or any other schemes, other than their Budget allocations.
* The Indian Railways, on December 19, announced that it planned to make all stations completely LED-lit by March 31, 2018. The railways aims to cut power consumption by actively working to provide 100 per cent LED lighting for energy needs in railway staff colonies, stations and platforms. The initiative is expected to reduce power consumption by 10 per cent of the total energy cost, conserving about 240 million units of electricity. This will save the railways nearly Rs 180 crore, annually.
*On December 14, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation was given a presidential honour for its efforts towards energy conservation and successful implementation of India's biggest LED installation project. According to the SDMC, the use of eco-friendly LEDs helped save nine crore units of energy under the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP). This project reduced the total connected load of 2.8 lakh sodium vapour street lights from 37.50 mw to 18.31 mw. Moreover, an SLNP app for the SDMC called EESL SL Complaint App was also launched for prompt resolution of complaints on faulty street lights.
LED bulbs have, in past five years, emerged as an alternative to the commonly used incandescent and CFL bulbs. LEDs are ranked higher when it comes to energy saving both in wattage and in rupees, and in their lifespan when compared to the other two alternatives.
Under the DELP, the government gives a seven watt LED bulb replacing it with a 14 watt CFL or 60 watt incandescent. When compared, an LED bulb is 88 per cent energy efficient while a CFL is 50 per cent efficient and incandescent is not efficient at all. A seven-watt LED bulb can help you earn Rs 162 as an annual cost savings on the electricity bill whereas a CFL of 14 watt helps save Rs 85.50. An LED bulb has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, a CFL 8,000 hours and an incandescent 1,200 hours.