Everlight: Benefits Outweigh Costs if Taiwan and China Switch to LED Lamps

Energy saving has topped governments’ agendas as global environmental issues escalate. If Taiwan and China replaced traditional lamps with LEDs, the amount of energy Taiwan could save would be equivalent to the annual electricity generated by its three nuclear power plants, while China could save 850 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually (equivalent to Taiwan’s 4-year electricity consumption), said Everlight CEO Mr. Robert Yeh. The LED replacement could solve energy shortage issues and is a smart energy saving investment with “low costs and big benefits,” said the CEO.

China’s vast territory is plagued by expensive electricity rates, and serious air pollution making it one of the top air-polluters in the world. These issues did not emerge overnight, and couldcan be solved, with LED’s energy saving features and maturing lighting technology, said Mr. Yeh. In fact, China could use funding from its air-pollution funds to subsidize the replacement of non-LED lamps. Not only is it a better energy saving solution, it can also expand domestic Chinese market demands. 

LED lighting saves 85% electricity

Compared to traditional lighting, LED lighting can save 85% of energy, said Mr. Yeh. Electricity consumption in traditional lighting is about 20% of the total electricity generated, but replaced with LEDs it can reduce 17% of electricity consumed.

Do not underestimate this 17% energy reduction. According to Mr. Yeh’s calculations, the total electricity generated in Taiwan was 200 billion kWh in 2011, out of which 40 billion kWh was used for lighting. Based on this statistic, if Taiwan replaces all lamps with LED lights, it could save 34 billion kWh of electricity, equivalent to the annual electricity generated by the country’s three nuclear power plants (31 billion kWh).

As for China, its electricity generation capacity is about 25 times that of Taiwan with annual electricity generated at 5 trillion kWh. Since lighting tends to consume 20% of electricity, China’s lighting electricity consumption is about 1 trillion kWh per year.

Government to promote energy saving policies

Hence, if China replaces all lamps with LEDs, it is estimated to save 85% of electricity consumed in lighting, in other words, 850 billion kWh of electricity can be saved per year. The energy saved surpasses Taiwan’s four year gross generation.

Notably, China is suffering from energy shortages, with an estimated shortage of 300 billion kWh. If China replaces all its lamps with LEDs, not only can it make up for this shortage, it will also have a surplus of 500 billion kWh that can be used for other purposes, said Mr. Yeh.

Mr. Yeh urged the public sector to promote LED lighting, and use the U.S. ENERGY STAR program as an example. Although, the U.S. ENERGY STAR program has very high energy saving requirements for LED lamps, it gives high subsidies to qualified lighting products. An ENERGY STAR LED light bulb that costs USD12.5 can receive a USD10 subsidy from the U.S. government. Consumers are thus more willing to adopt the product, and manufacturers can further develop products in the market.

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