Power sector lights up; LED bulbs in vogue

Power sector lights up; LED bulbs in vogue

New Delhi: LED bulbs are slowly but steadily making inroads in middle class families. Special stalls were pitched recently in the government offices complex in New Delhi and people, flaunted ID proof and latest power bill, to purchase LED bulbs at a highly subsidised price.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched LED based home and street lighting programme on January 5 this year.

The plan envisages to cover 100 cities by March next year and balance by March 2019, targeting 77 crore ordinary bulbs and 3.5 crore conventional street lights.

“For us LED bulbs is simple mathematics. They save money on power bill ,and it should be made freely available in markets if the government is serious in energy conservation”, said Ramadheen, a staff member in one of the offices in nearby buildings while watching brisk sale of bulbs.

Informatively, 77 crore incandescent bulbs were sold in 2013-14 which if replaced by LEDs will result in reduction of 20,000 MW load and energy savings of 100 billion kWh (Kilowatt hour) every year.

Total saving in electricity bills of consumers will be Rs 40,000 crore every year, considering average tariff of Rs 4 per kWh. Average reduction of electricity bill of consumers is pegged at Rs160-400 per year per LED ( light emitting diode).

There are 3.5 crore street lights in the country with a load of 3,400 MW which can be reduced to 1,400 MW by replacing conventional lights with LED based street lights which could lead to saving of about 9,000 million units annually worth Rs 5,500 crore to municipalities annually.

Now 100 cities have been taken up for coverage under Street Lighting Programme (SLP) and Domestic Lighting Programme (DELP).

As many as 186 cities have been enrolled in the DELP programme. Work has been completed in some places in Andhra Pradesh (Guntur, Anantpur, Srikakulam, West Godavari) and Puducherry.

About one crore LEDs have been distributed. Distribution is in progress in Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Thane, Mulund, Bhandup, Ratnagiri, Kanpur and Varanasi.

Agreements with 63 cities were signed in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR and agreements with 68 more (Maharashtra, UP, AP and Himachal Pradesh) are in final stages.

The government plans to distribute 15 crore LEDs by March 2016. Officials say 302 ULBS have enrolled in the programme.