Nairobi, Kenya, August 27, 2014 -
A new research study published by the IFC-World Bank Lighting Global
program finds that replacing all kerosene lamps in use with solar lights
would reduce the equivalent of 5 percent annual greenhouse gas emissions
in the United States, or 12 percent of India’s annual emissions.
The study confirms that modern solar lighting products designed for low
income families without access to grid electricity are far more energy
efficient than widely used kerosene lamps.
“Fuel-based lamps require a small amount of energy to manufacture, but
then consume a large amount of energy through fuel burnt daily. A solar-powered
electric light, by contrast, requires a larger energy investment to manufacture,
but consumes no further fuel because it generates its power from the sun,”
says Dr. Arne Jacobson, technical lead for Lighting Global, a sister program
to the IFC-World Bank Lighting Africa program. Dr. Jacobson is also a Director
of the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University.
The study found that quality-verified solar lanterns, which have been championed
and promoted by the Lighting Africa program since its inception in 2007,
typically reduce a family’s consumption of kerosene for lighting by at
least 50 percent. Such lamps can completely replace kerosene-fueled lamps
from a household.
“Replacing kerosene lights with solar powered products thus represents
a local solution that has significant positive global implications,” says
Dr Jacobson. Today 1.4 billion people across the globe rely on fuel-based
lighting such as kerosene that emit carbon dioxide and black carbon (soot).
The study, titled Energy and Carbon Benefits of Pico Powered Lighting,
reviewed small modern solar powered lighting products designed for households
in off-grid areas or locations with unreliable grid electricity. They include
flash lights, portable lanterns, task and ambient lights, as well as solar
home lighting kits that can light more than one room and power appliances
such as radios, fans and TV sets.
The study used an energy return on investment (EROI) analysis to estimate
savings. The study found that an EROI of 1.0 represents a product that
saves exactly as much energy as the energy it consumes. The EROI ratios
for pico-solar were found to be quite high-about 15-45 (depending on the
kerosene replacement scenario) for products with a 2-year lifespan. While
upfront costs are higher, these products pay for themselves many times
over from an energy perspective.
Quality verified solar products often have a lifespan of two years, although
some last longer. Because of their energy efficiency and use of no fuel,
they are able to very quickly offset the energy used in their manufacture
and transportation when compared with kerosene lamps. The simple energy
payback for such solar lighting products was found to be between one to
three months for the products evaluated by the study.
About Lighting Global
Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s platform to support sustainable
growth of the international off-grid lighting market. Through Lighting
Global, the World Bank Group collaborates with the Global Off-Grid Lighting
Association (GOGLA), manufacturers, distributors, and other development
partners to support growth of the off-grid lighting market as a means of
increasing access to energy.
Lighting Global supports the regional Lighting
Africa and Lighting Asia programs, which develop markets for high quality,
affordable, solar lighting products. The regional programs work along the
supply chain to reduce market entry barriers and first mover risks.
About Lighting Africa
The IFC-World Bank Lighting Africa program catalyzes and accelerates development
of commercial markets for off-grid solar lighting products in Sub-Saharan
Africa. It is part of the World Bank Group's wider efforts towards the
goal of Sustainable Energy for All by 2030. Lighting Africa mobilizes the
private sector to build sustainable markets that provide affordable, modern
solar lighting products to families that are not connected to grid electricity,
most of whom are low income rural families.