NEW DELHI: India is poised to emerge as the largest market for lighting systems based on LEDs (light-emitting diodes), thanks to the Narendra Modi-led government’s UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) scheme for replacing all inefficient bulbs with these energy-efficient lamps.
“With India selling 770 million LED bulbs every day, the country will soon become the LED capital of the world. Prices of LED bulbs have come down to 55 pence (Rs 52) from over 3.5 pounds (Rs 332) two years ago,” a government statement quoted power minister Piyush Goyal as telling investors in London on Wednesday.
Today, 12% of all LED lighting systems sold in the world is consumed in India, according to Saurabh Kumar, managing director of Energy Efficiency Services. The company, promoted by state-run power utilities, is the nodal agency for implementing the UJALA scheme. Kumar said the rise in India’s share of consumption of LED lighting systems was primarily being driven by LED bulbs promoted through the UJALA scheme but also includes all forms of lighting. More than 9.7 crore LED bulbs have been distributed so far under the scheme.
“UJALA’s beauty is that there is no subsidy involved, neither by the Centre nor by any state government. China had a (bulb) replacement programme but that was based on subsidy,” Kumar said.UJALA has brought down the price of an LED bulb to Rs 85 for a 9-watt on an average. Some states have received even lower prices during bidding “UJALA is providing technically best lamps of nine watt capacity. Let’s say you can get an LED bulb for an average $1.25 in India against $3.5-4 two years back,” Kumar said referring to Goyal’s pound-denominated pricing for his London audience.
The UJALA scheme is part of the Modi government’s larger plan for demand-side management, which has been dovetailed into the broader climate strategy for meeting voluntary target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions as part of the global climate deal.
Lighting sector accounts for about 20% of the total power consumption in India. Most of the lighting needs in domestic and public sectors are met by inefficient incandescent or CFL bulbs. The UJALA scheme aims at replacing all the 77 crore inefficient bulbs in the country with LEDs.
It is estimated that once completed, the UJALA scheme would save Rs 40,000 crore in annual electricity bills for consumers. The scheme is also expected to result in reduction of 20,000 MW load, energy savings of 100 billion units and bring down emission of greenhouse gases by 80 million tonne a year.