South Africa to replace all incandescent bulbs by 2016

27th January 2012

The South African government has announced that it will be the first African nation to adopt a comprehensive phase-out policy for inefficient lighting.

The plan is linked to a global initiative by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Global Environment Facility, aimed at combating climate change through the transition to energy efficient lighting.

The initiative will entail replacing incandescent bulbs with low-carbon, resource-efficient lighting options, and aims to achieve a global phase-out by 2016.

The UNEP reports that the phase-out of inefficient lighting is one of the quickest and most effective ways of saving energy and combating climate change.

Electricity exploited for lighting accounts for close to 20% of total global electricity production and 6% of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

The initiative, dubbed ‘en.lighten’, aims to halve these emissions.

Meanwhile, South Africa will be able to electrify over four-million homes with the electricity saved from phasing out incandescent lamps by following an integrated approach, including the development of collection and recycling systems.

“South Africa faces power shortages, which will be greatly mitigated by the phase-out of incandescent lamps. The electricity saved by the phase-out will be directed to more pressing social needs. South Africa is committed to mitigating climate change, and this measure is a key action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” says South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters.

Over 25 developing countries from four continents have joined the programme, which has been established to support countries in the design and implementation of phase-out strategies adapted to specific country conditions and requirements.