Sustainable solar lighting for developing countries

Replacing millions of kerosene lamps and flashlights in developing countries with sustainable off-grid lighting could cut global energy usage and save more than $110 billion (£72bn). That’s according to new […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Replacing millions of kerosene lamps and flashlights in developing countries with sustainable off-grid lighting could cut global energy usage and save more than $110 billion (£72bn).

That’s according to new studies from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which found 5% of global energy use could be cut every year – equivalent to closing more than 250 large coal-fired power plants or the emissions of more than 122 million cars. The research is part of UNEP’s initiative to speed up spreading energy efficient light bulbs, LEDs and small-scale solar panels in 50 developing countries.

Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director said: “Replacing the world’s 670 million kerosene lamps with cleaner, safer solar-powered lighting represents a major opportunity to deliver across multiple fronts, from cuts in global carbon emissions, health risks from indoor air pollution, support for green technologies and the generation of green jobs.”

UNEP is working with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), a group which promotes “clean, quality” off-grid lighting systems in developing markets to help the environment and create long-term jobs.

Wolfgang Gregor, Secretary-General of GOGLA said: “We want to ensure that decision-makers and Government officials are aware about the importance of modern off-grid lighting solutions and recognise the potential of this multi-billion dollar market.”

Currently, more than 1.3 billion people live without access to electric light and 25 billion litres of kerosene are used every year at a yearly cost of £15billion.