India’s Power Ministry Tackles Energy Crisis with LED Light Bulbs

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India’s power ministry’s proposed solution to the country’s energy crisis is simple: upgrade to LED light bulbs.

The Indian government has suggested to replace all incandescent and fluorescent bulbs throughout capitals with LEDs, a Wall Street Journal report cited a government advisory.

LED lights are estimated to save the nation 13% of electricity generating capacity or roughly 34.7 gigawatts of power. About 300 million people in India have no access to electricity, according to World Bank statistics.

The country’s power minister Piyush Goyal estimates the nationwide LED upgrade project could save the nation $8 billion of electricity annually and provide 50 million people with power.

Conserving energy is also crucial for the fossil fuel, coal and natural gas dependent nation to meet its international commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

To further promote the adoption of LED bulbs, the Indian government has launched a separate program to sell LED bulbs to average households at 10 rupees (US $0.16), about half the price of incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps. The program is headed by Saurabh Kumar, managing director of Energy Efficiency Services, a joint venture established by the power ministry.

Usually, LED bulbs are retailed at about 500 rupees.

The super cheap LED bulbs, however, are not being subsidized by the government or the company.

Instead, the policy is targeting electric companies. Since Indian electric companies sell power to certain customers at a loss, by encouraging clients to switch to LEDs and cut electricity consumption, electric companies can save money by selling less electricity to them at money-losing rates. These savings are than recouped by Energy Efficiency Services to cover the bulb prices, said Kumar.

The cheaper bulbs will soon be available in Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

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