|Japanese conversion to LED lights would slash energy usage|
|28 Jun 2011|
|Converting the 1.6-billion lights in Japan to LEDs would be unfeasibly expensive, but would save a massive amount of energy, says a report. |
|A study in Japan has concluded that the country’s annual energy consumption could be slashed by 9 percent if it were possible to replace all the fluorescent and incandescent lights used in Japan with LED lights. The results were reported in an article in the Mainichi Daily News. |
The study, by the Institute of Energy Economics (IEE), a foundation supervised by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), estimated that 92.2 billion kWh of electricity – worth the output of 13 nuclear reactors – would be saved annually if the switch was made.
"Promoting the introduction of LED lights will serve as energy-saving measures that have immediate effects and sustainability," said a representative of the IEE, which conducted the calculation in response to the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and the ensuing public attention to the nation's energy policy.
There are an estimated 1.6 billion lights in use in Japan, of which 870 million are in households, 580 million in offices and commercial buildings, and 160 million in the manufacturing sector. As the Table shows, the amount of energy saved would be greatest in the offices/commercial sector.
|| Number of lights
|| Annual energy consumption
Incandescent & fluorescent
| Annual energy consumption
| Savings (billion kWh)
|| 870 million
|Offices & commercial buildings
However, the initial cost of installing LED lamps is very high, says the study, estimating that LED lamps cost 20 times the price of incandescent bulbs and more than twice that of a fluorescent bulb. If all the incandescent and fluorescent lights were replaced with LED counterparts, the initial cost would be 15.7 trillion yen ($194 billion).
Replacing all the incandescent lights with LED lamps is more feasible, since this would have an initial cost of 850 billion yen ($10.5 billion), but would save 27.3 billion kWh annually, worth the output of four nuclear reactors, according to the institute.
"Replacing incandescent lights with LED lights at offices and households, which can be easily done, will help save energy. In that way, we'll be able to introduce LED lights in phases," said an IEE official.
|About the Author |
|Tim Whitaker is the Editor of LEDs Magazine.|
|Name: alvdh1 Posted: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 20:06|
|I totally disagree with the conclusion of the article that it is too expensive to replace all of the lights in Japan with LED's. The Fukushima reactor complex has lost 4 reactors that will never see operation again. It is likely that units 5 & 6 will be scuttled before it is over with because of the instense radiation at the plant. The estimated cost of clean up is $243 billion and units 1-3 will not achieve cold shut down until next January at the earliest, which means units 1-4 will continue to spew radiation into the environment until then.
The Japanese government has to rebuild from the earthquake, tsunami and the reactor accidents. With no indigenous resources other than wind, solar, wave and tidal, Japan will have to turn to energy efficiency and alternative energy if it does not want a repeat of Fukushima. When the full economic, health and environmental costs have been calculated, Japan will discover that energy efficiency offers the cheapest solution for reducing their energy demand.
LED's can replace the power lost at Fukushima quicker than any other solution at the most affordable cost. The payback period, in most instances, will not exceed 4-5 years and in some cases as little as 2 years. The savings will then start to drop to the bottom line of business and residential users, which will find it way back into the economy for many years to come.
Japan could establish a program run by the Central Bank of Japan to loan the $194 to business, government and residential property owners to purchase the replacement LED fixtures. The loans would be repaid through the porperty owners utility bill on a fixed rate basis each month. The utilites will know the differential between current and past consumption and collect the difference untill the the loans are fully repaid. Therefore, no upfront capital costs will be required by any property owner to retrofit Japan with LED's. The same program could be established with energy efficient HVAC systems and energy star appliances to further reduce electricity demand in Japan.
Never say never when so much is at stake for Japan.|
|Name: pangea Posted: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 01:06|
|Something doesn't quite add up.
$194B/1.6B lights = $121/light. Did they use old pricing data for their analysis?
If LEDs cost 20X incandescent bulbs (which are approx. $2/bulb) then the unit cost implied is $40/LED bulb, which indeed is the price we buy them for in small quantities at retail outlets currently. So, today, it should cost not $194B, but rather $65B, to replace all of Japan's lights.
That is just the cost today. Within a few years the price will fall by at least 4X, so the total cost by 2013/14 will be $16B.
In addition, the efficiency of the bulbs should double by 2015, bringing the savings to an even higher level.
Am I missing some aspect of the cost of the upgrade that triples a $40/bulb cost into a $120/bulb cost?|
Your analysis is too simplistic. Not all the 1.6 billion lights can be replaced by $40 LED lamps. Many different lamp types are involved.
|Name: shafiq Posted: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 06:06|
|Sounds good but expensive. It’s a massive investment, after the earthquake and tsunami Japan yet to be thinking regarding an extra load on their economy. Research & developments on LED is going on from couple of years and definitely it will change the concepts of conventional lighting technology in near feature. We are watching carefully how the Japan is converting in to this technology, in feature this will be a roll model for the third world countris. |
|Name: nmorris Posted: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 03:07|
The more detailed answer is that IEE estimated current costs as follows (but acknowledged that costs are coming down):
Incandescent bulbs: 340 million @ 2,500Y = 850B Yen, 17mth payback
Straight tube Fluoros: 690 million @ 15,000Y = 9.6Tr Yen, 119mth payback
Circular Fluoros: 350 millon @ 10,000Y = 3.5Tr Yen, 222mth payback
HID: 20 million @ 100,000Y = 1.8Tr Yen, 131mth payback
Labour for changing the flouros and HID is included in the cost of the lamps, which makes them look a bit more expensive, but the report doesn't state whether reduced preventative labour cost from reduced changing of LEDs has been incorporated, or just electricity savings in the payback times.
|Name: rock the reactors Posted: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 04:07|
|The same could be said of any nuclear reactor hosting community. In fact, transitioning to LEDs with aggressive state-sponsored LED retrofit programs, has been at the heart of our Rock The Reactors campaign to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant 30 miles North of New York City. Since 2006, the state of New York has saved twice what the Indian Point nuclear power plant produces, or 4000Mw, with new energy efficient technology, conservation, improved building management, and LEDs. There's a lot of work to do, but we can easily make up to 10% of all the electricity New York state consumes, or 141,398 MkWh, with LEDs!|