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Energy Efficient LEDs Could Alleviate China’s Smog

A mother’s “personal grudge” against China’s haze issues gave birth to the trending environmental documentary 'China's Haze: Under the Dome.’ The country’s serious air pollution became very personal for former State TV Reporter Chai Jing, when she became pregnant with her daughter. Concerned about her daughter’s health, the former environmental issue investigative reporter probed into the causes behind China’s serious air pollution. The documentary has gone viral online and has received more than millions of views on major online video websites.

The video might be forgotten by the masses within a week, but the hazards of smog will not simply drift away. Environmental friendly LEDs just might offer a solution to China’s thick haze.

 

The video might be forgotten by the masses within a week, but the hazards of smog will not simply drift away. Environmental friendly LEDs just might offer a solution to China’s thick haze.

Lighting’s energy consumption is estimated to be around 17% to 20%, according to LEDinside calculations. Based on China’s total energy consumption of 5.52 trillion kilowatt per hour (KWh) in 2014, the country’s lighting energy consumption would be about 1.1 trillion KWh. Following the spread of highly energy efficient LEDs in the Chinese market, lighting energy consumption could be halved, and cut down 300 million metric tons of coal consumption. Based on Chai’s statistics, China’s coal consumption reached 3.6 billion metric tons in 2013. With LEDs limited market penetration on the Chinese market, the technology still holds huge potential in solving China’s smog issue.

Why are LEDs not as widespread on the market if it has huge energy saving advantages? Similar to the steel industry’s oversupply issue explored in the smog documentary, China has been the global lighting manufacturing powerhouse. More than 90% of incandescent bulbs, CFLs and other light sources are manufactured in the country. Traditional incandescent bulbs are not energy efficient, while energy saving CFL’s can cause mercury pollution. Yet, these two light sources have created millions of jobs, and solved local Chinese government’s tax income, and job employment issues.

On an optimistic note, China’s National Development and Reform Commission has phased out 60W and above wattage incandescent bulbs, which has been effective since Oct. 1, 2014. Although, the policy was rolled out later than developed countries, it is better than never.

 

 

 

 

 

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