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Aug 31, 2012

Efficient lighting could save Africa up to $10bn a year, says LED giant

Africa|Cable|Design|Efficiency|Health|Innovation|Lighting|Philips|PROJECT|Road|Roads|Royal Philips Electronics|Safety|Solar|Sustainable|System|Technology|Africa|USD|Electricity|Energy|Energy Costs|Energy Crisis|Equivalent Energy Output|High-energy Efficiency|Solutions|Frans Cox|Mark Henrik-Koerner|Power|Cable|Southern Africa
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Royal Philips Electronics’ research figures show that, if the African continent were to switch its existing lighting to new light-emitting diode (LED) solutions, it would save up to $10-billion in energy costs annually – more than 50- million tons of carbon and the equivalent energy output of 35 power stations.

These figures only include on-grid lighting, where electricity is present. LED solutions, when combined with the latest innovations in battery and solar developments, can also provide practical and sustainable light for about 600-million Africans who currently live without electricity.

The results come from a global research study undertaken by Philips’ market intelligence team into the effects of converting to more energy-efficient LED lighting and are based on Philips’ internal market figures.

“We have now reached a tipping point in the development of high-quality LEDs, where this exciting new technology can be used for general lighting in almost every application,” says Philips Lighting Southern Africa GM Mark Henrik-Koerner.

“High-quality LEDs offer opportunities and solutions to a few key issues we face today, which include the energy crisis, climate change, resource scarcity, safety in cities and productivity in offices, as well as an enhanced sense of health and well- being,” he says.

LED lighting can deliver high-energy efficiency, a long life, excellent quality of light, design flexibility, controllability and colour – all of which are essential to create solutions which will improve lighting.

Phillips recently installed its new LED lights, the Philips Solar Gen2 lighting system, in Marrakech, Morroco. This is the first solar lighting project on the African continent that uses the Phillips LED lights.

This innovation has the potential to transform urban and rural life in areas of the world which do not have access to an electricity grid or where the grid is unreli- able, making those areas safer and more productive. It will also help municipal authorities to create more livable urban environments by applying new, futureproof LED lighting solutions to enhance city and rural life.

“Africa is the perfect continent for a solar-power project like this one because there are roads with no electricity or infra- structure, which eliminate the need for cable connections, says Phillips project manager Frans Cox.

The system is easy to install and has built-in intelligence to maximise battery life and output. The timings for the lights can be preset and the system operates on smaller batteries and panels than conventional solutions.

The lights are equipped for the future, as the Phillips LEDGINE allows LED modules and drivers to be easily replaced and upgraded over time.

“We want to develop project solutions, which are meaningful for communities on the continent, in conjunction with key partners.

“We need to get away from simply looking at the initial cost of a component and look at the overall cost of installing, running and maintaining a solar-powered road-lighting solution,” concludes Philips Lighting Egypt and East Africa GM Tamer Abolghar.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
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