NEW HOPE FROM SUN TO REPLACE INDIA’S ANCIENT SOURCE OF LIGHT

There is new hope that million of poor Indians can access an energy efficient light source powered by the sun, throw away billions of polluting kerosene lanterns – and earn the nation money – while doing so.

This week, the United Nations’ (UN) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – aimed at slowing the warming of the planet – notified governments and companies on how to calculated carbon-emission saved by installing solar-powered Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) instead of the ubiquitous, ancient lantern.


This could give India an incentive to replace the lamps that are used in 30% of households, meaning a saving of 50 million tonnes of carbon emission every year. One tonne of emission saved fetches up to $20 (Rs. 930 today) in the international carbon market. “The new methodology once finalized will help in registration with UN for carbon trading,” the CDM executive board said on its website.

A poor Indian household could save up to Rs. 1,000 per annum on kerosene costs, half the cost of a solar powered LED lighting system. In addition, once charged, an LED bulb works for up to 42 hours compared with the 8-10 that conventional solar lanterns do.

“Carbon credits would reduce the cost by just Rs. 50-60. If the prices of LED come down to Rs. 200 – 300 per bulb, the CDM scheme would become attractive.


The UN estimates that its new initiative can change the lives of a quarter of humanity, which still gets light by directly burning fuels, emitting nearly 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalence of 60 million cars. “Of – grid electric LED lighting system (charged with photovoltaic systems) have emerged as promising alternatives, offering the potential for garnering significant greenhouse gas savings.