Business News | Jul 30, 2010

Energy-saving lamps to replace incandescent light bulbs in developing and emerging countries

Munich, OSRAM is the world’s first lighting manufacturer to receive approval from the United Nations for a “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM) for reducing CO2 emissions.

This sustainable methodology based on the Kyoto Protocol will enable many millions of incandescent light bulbs to be directly replaced by energy-saving lamps over the next few years in developing and emerging countries mainly in Africa and Asia. It will then be possible to trade the CO2 certificates obtained in this way. “OSRAM is sending out a clear and practical signal with regard to climate protection”, said Franzjosef Schafhausen, Head of Division, environment and energy issues, climate policy in the German Federal Environment Ministry.
It was three years ago that OSRAM launched the project. With the recent approval the CDM methodology for measuring the CO2 emissions produced by energy-saving lamps in households has now been officially sanctioned and is therefore publicly available for any interested company or organization. “With the CDM method that we have developed we are making an active contribution to climate protection. It will lead to an appreciable reduction in CO2 emissions, help developing and emerging countries to keep their energy needs at low levels and save consumers in these countries their hardearned cash. It is an ecologically valuable and economically sensible model”, said Martin Goetzeler, President and CEO of OSRAM.

Incandescent lamps are the most widely sold products on the worldwide lighting market, at around 12.5 billion units. Each incandescent lamp replaced means around half a tonne less of CO2, averaged throughout the world. “We therefore invite all lighting manufacturers to adopt our method and promote further energy-saving lighting solutions together,” said Goetzeler. OSRAM is already working on initial projects in developing countries. Since the individual CDM projects are designed to run for 10 years and the lamps should not be replaced in this period, the most durable energy-saving lamps from OSRAM, namely OSRAM Dulux Longlife lamps, are used here.

No costs planned for end consumers/refinancing through CO2 certificates
To implement its approved method, OSRAM will enter into local cooperation agreements, for example with power supply companies or energy agencies. The plan is for the costs for the new energy-saving lamps to be borne by OSRAM and its partners.
This is because the target group comprises households that could not normally otherwise afford to buy energy-saving lamps. The tools for refinancing this investment are the CO2 certificates generated from the CDM project. In the implementation projects currently planned by OSRAM the replacements are intended to be at zero cost. There is even a financial benefit for the new users of energy-saving lamps in the form of savings in electricity consumption of up to 80 percent. Developing and emerging countries will also be in a better position to control their energy demands thanks to millions of energysaving lamps. There is a further positive effect for the CO2 balance because these countries often have to rely on coal and oil as their primary energy sources.
Background: Clean Development Mechanism
The Clean Development Mechanism is part of the Kyoto Protocol, which many countries have signed as an indication of their commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. CDMs enable industrialized nations that are committed to reducing greenhouse gases to make these reductions also in developing and emerging countries that do not have targets for reducing emissions. Certificates will be produced for the carbon dioxide saved. These certificates can be bought and sold as part of emission trading. There is a flourishing market for these CO2 certificates. The certificates also constitute an exciting business model. Once approved by the United Nations, CDMs are public and can be freely used.
Background: energy saving lamps
Energy-efficient products have always been and will continue to be a central component of the global research and product development activities and corporate strategy of OSRAM. OSRAM has always been a trendsetter. In 1985, for example, the company invented the energy-saving lamp with integrated electronic control gear.
Energy-saving lamps consume up to 80% less electricity than ordinary light bulbs for the same amount of light and last up to 15 times longer. An ordinary light bulb will burn on average for only 1000 hours. And it converts 95% of the energy it consumes into heat and only 5% into light. Over its life of up to 15 years an OSRAM Longlife energy-saving lamp will save about one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity and around half a tonne of CO2 emissions.
Other energy-saving lamps
In the summer OSRAM will be launching energy-saving halogen lamps – giving consumers even more choice. These lamps produce brilliant light typical of halogen lamps but can be dimmed without restriction. They last twice as long as incandescent lamps and achieve energy savings of 30%.
There is also enormous potential for energy savings in the commercial and industrial sectors, for example with regard to fluorescent lamps: Simply replacing conventional fluorescent lamps with intelligent energy-saving systems could save around 320 million MWh and 160 million tonnes of CO2 emissions worldwide each year. This corresponds to the CO2 emissions of all the vehicles registered in Germany.
About the company
OSRAM is one of the two leading lighting manufacturers in the world. Sales in the year ending September 30, 2006 totalled 4.6 billion euros, 88 percent of which came from outside Germany. OSRAM is a high-tech company in the lighting sector. Around 40 percent of sales comes from innovative products. This global player employs more than 40,000 people worldwide, supplies customers in some 150 countries and has 49 production facilities in 18 countries.