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Energy for Everyone – UN Certificates
India’s New Light
In India, Osram is offering free energy-saving lamps in exchange for energy-hungry incandescent bulbs. In doing so, it has become the first lighting manufacturer to participate in the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism.
The Radheyshyam family, from the Indian city of Visakhapatnam, has no extravagant designer lamp shade. Even so, it has a special lamp that is so innovative that you won’t find it everywhere in Europe yet. It’s Osram’s Dulux EL Longlife energy-saving lamp. Together with partner RWE, Osram started offering 700,000 of these lamps to India’s households in April 2008 as part of the United Nations’ "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM). In comparison with conventional incandescent bulbs the new lamps consume 80 % less electricity.
"The idea is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in developing and emerging markets substantially with the most modern lighting technology—for the benefit of everyone," says Project Manager Boris Bronger, of Osram. This is a win-win situation. On the one hand, participating households benefit. They get the newest technology almost as a gift—the Radheyshyam family paid no more for the energy-saving lamp than for a conventional bulb, but thanks to the lamp’s reduced power consumption, it saves them cash every month.
On the other hand, power supplies are improved because there are fewer demand peaks, which in turn reduces power failures in the somewhat unstable Indian power supply network. In addition, the project will help the environment. Specifically, the new lamps will cut CO2 emissions by around 400,000 t over ten years as compared with use of their conventional counterparts. And Osram itself will receive emission certificates from the UN, which it can resell freely to refinance the project. Osram is confident, despite the high initial investment of the project, that a new business model can be created in this way.
The pilot region for the exchange of bulbs is the Federal State of Andhra Pradesh on India’s east coast. "The response to the information events that Osram mounted in cooperation with the local power supply company was very positive," says Bronger. "Residents are happy that they are not only saving power and money with the new technology but also helping to protect the environment." A maximum of two bulbs will be exchanged in each household, so that better-off Indians will have no advantage over poorer ones. Osram is collecting the old bulbs and recycling them in an environmentally compatible manner. "Our methodology is designed to ensure that the old bulbs aren’t used any more," says Bronger. In addition, specially developed measuring instruments will be installed in 200 households to record average daily use of the lamps for the UN. The data will be documented in regular reports. The German Technical Supervision Association (TÜV) will verify the details, which will be sent to the UN.
Ideal for Emerging Markets. The top part of each lamp is manufactured in Germany, while the bottom part, with its complex electronics, is made in Italy. The lamps are assembled in India. Ultimately, the international division of work makes no difference in the product. The Dulux EL Longlife, one of Osram’s most innovative lamps, is ideal for use in emerging markets. It can be switched on and off countless times, and can handle power failures. What’s more, its mercury content is extremely low, which is an advantage for the environment.
For all the complicated organization involved in the campaign, the Radheyshyams do not have to concern themselves with the process. While watching the new energy-saving lamp being installed, the father merely has to sign a form, which he also marks with a cross to indicate which lamp was replaced. In the next ten years, he’s unlikely to have to buy a new lamp, and will save money in the bargain. Given that a kilowatt-hour of electricity costs around 5.5 euro cents in India and that a single lamp will save up to a megawatt-hour over ten years, the family’s electricity bill will be cut by €55. "For the lamp itself the users pay a small symbolic amount, so they get the feeling that they have invested in progress," says Bronger. The Radheyshyams pay 25 euro-cents for the Dulux EL Longlife. Even in India, that’s a bargain.
How Much CO2 Does a Lamp Save?
The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol. Its calculations are based on how much greenhouse gas a region would produce if everything were to continue as it has up to now. How much of this could be avoided using energy-saving lamps is then calculated. The savings actually realized must be verified by independent organizations accredited by the UN—for example by Germany’s TÜV. This is a complex process. Osram submitted its methodology in 2004, and it was approved in 2007. Since April 2008, Osram has been the first lighting manufacturer anywhere to replace incandescent bulbs with energy-saving lamps in accordance with this concept. The first port of call is India, but future plans include other countries, principally in Africa and Asia. To calculate the amount of CO2 saved, a random survey of Dulux EL Longlife lamps’ lifelong electricity use is conducted. Osram experts estimate that the lamp will save roughly one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity during its service life. In India, because of the large number of coal-fired power plants, CO2 emissions vary according to region between 0.85 and 1.0 t/MWh (the global average of all power plants is 0.575 t/MWh). In countries such as Brazil, which rely heavily on hydro-electric power, the CO2-saving effect would be considerably less—which is why not all countries are suitable for such CDM projects. For each ton of CO2 saved, Osram receives an emission certificate from the UN. Since these certificates can be traded freely, the price they can command is variable.
Schwarzfischer / Lackerschmid