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LED lights can save 1,600 MW

The replacement of conventional streetlights with that of light emitting diode (LED) lights across the country could save 1,600MW, suggests a presentation on LED technology to Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Based on the projections and returns, LED lighting project is not only financially viable, but also provides additional electricity to the national grid and is in the national interest, an official said on Monday.

The Capital Development Authority plans to replace 65,000 conventional streetlights in Islamabad with that of LED lights that would save over 50 percent energy, he said. According to the documents available with The News, the project would reduce the CDA’s electricity bill by 50 percent.

At present, the annual bill of the CDA is around Rs1.2-Rs1.4 billion that continues to rise. The project was approved by the CDA Development Working Party comprising technical and financial experts.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) made a concept clearance to the project after getting a nod from the cabinet to take immediate measures for the conservation of energy in the prevailing difficult times of crisis, the official said.

In the backdrop of future energy crisis, the National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON), Ministry of Environment, in a letter dated January 12, 2010 advised the CDA to replace the conventional public lighting system with LED lights to reduce energy consumption.

The letter says, “We believe that the systems such as HID/LED lights can save approximately two megawatts plus electrical energy on an immediate basis in the CDA’s streetlight load.”

With a total cost of Rs6.524 billion, the CDA would spent only Rs1.631 billion on the project, while the remaining amount would be borne through less debt financing in five to seven years, the money which would be saved through reducing the energy consumption in the city after installing LED lights, according to the letter.

The LED European technology will substantially save the replacement cost of conventional lighting, as at present, the existing lights are replaced after every one-and-a-half-year on an average.

The useful life of LEDs is 20 years (80,000 hours). “No maintenance is required as the system is maintenance-free and environment-friendly. With the replacement of the existing conventional lights to LED lights, the cost of wiring in the new areas will be reduced by 60 percent due to reduced load and the line losses will be reduced because of the reduced flow of current. An inbuilt “Intelligent Lighting Control System” is present in this European technology, which saves over 70 percent of electricity,” the presentation suggested.

After installing the LED lights in the city, a stock of 65,000 conventional lights would be sold to Afghanistan and, in this regard, negotiations between the two countries are underway, an official said.

According to the documents, the project will also allow income from the sale of carbon credits, estimated approximately one million euros per annum, he said. LED lighting is a paradigm shift in the outdoor lighting industry.

Though there is a little criticism on the use of this new technology, the LED lighting is gradually getting global acceptance as most of the cities in America and Japan are shifting to LED system of lighting and saving 50 percent of the energy consumption.

“LED lights in Islamabad can serve as a model and can pave the way for introduction of the energy-efficient lights throughout Pakistan,” the official added.

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