Mar 22, 2017: Environmentalists believe that the economic activity generated by the lighting industry is significant, which needs to be controlled and reduced significantly in order to control climate change.
Delivering a lecture of the Worshipful Company of Light mongers,veteran environmentalist and former Friends of the Earth chief Jonathan Porritt said that the GDP attributable to lighting and its associated energy requirements should reduce significantly if we want to see impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Jonathan Porritt said, “We need to find ways of delivering increasingly sophisticated lighting services to the whole of humankind in ways that cause considerably less impact, which probably needs less total economic activity.
Lighting is responsible for anywhere between 16% and 18% of total electricity consumption in the world today, depending on how you do the calculations. So this is an absolutely massive part of the challenge. And although it’s rarely spoken about in those terms, people are beginning to understand that if we are going to make a difference to this story, we have to make a difference on lighting”, he added.
1.7% GDP every year
The contribution of the lighting industry has remained amazingly constant over hundreds of years. It always contributes around 1.7 % of total GDP a year, according to analysts.
Porritt said that new applications of efficient lighting technologies have constantly offset the energy efficiency gains from new lighting technologies almost precisely, leaving the segment proportion of worldwide GDP attributable to lighting fundamentally unchanged for hundreds of years.
Hence, lighting have always played a crucial part in the economy of human societies at varied points, at approximately 1.7% of GDP, he added. Further, he said that it is important to bring the figure down because if there is a need towards substantial contribution from lighting to addressing the problem of climate change. There is the need to lookout for ways to deliver increasingly sophisticated lighting services to the whole of humankind, Porritt added.
However, the development of LEDs has several benefits, said Porritt. He particularly talked about the development of the blue LED by Professor Shuji Nakamura in the 1990s.
Theextensive application of LEDs will help reduce power consumption by almost 348 TWh by 2027, equivalent to the output of 44 large power plants, saving more than $30 billion at existing power prices, according to a report by the US Department of Energy.
“So you can see why this is going to have an impact on GDP. It takes $30 billion of economic activity out of the US economy, that translates through into the economic multipliers”, said Porritt.