Dubbed as the largest energy efficiency programme in the world, the Union Government has launched a national programme to replace conventional street lights with LED lights and distribution of LED bulbs to households in 100 cities.
Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a joint venture company of PSUs of the Ministry of Power and the Government of India, will implement the programme. Over a period of two years, one crore streetlights will be replaced and 20 crore LED bulbs distributed in the 100 cities spread all over the country, Managing Director EESL Saurabh Kumar told The Hindu.
The programme will result in conservation of nearly 8 billion units or 800 crore units every year that accounts for a savings of Rs.4,000 crore, he estimates.
The Union Government has raised its equity in EESL from Rs.90 crore to Rs.500 crore. It will be further raised to Rs.1,000 crore by the middle of next financial year. Besides that the EESL will borrow from Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and banks in Germany and France.
Mr. Kumar, who was here to sign an agreement on LED streetlight management with Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, said the EESL borrowed from a German bank at low interest after the Government of India entered into an agreement.
On the role of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), he says the Visakhapatnam model of benefit-sharing will be followed all over the country. The GVMC will save about Rs.2 crore every year after all 92,000 conventional streetlights lights are replaced. Besides, another advantage is that the ULBs need not pay anything upfront, he pointed out.
The investment on streetlights is estimated at Rs.5,000 crore resulting in a savings of 1.7 billion units a year. The distribution of 20 crore LED bulbs to households will conserve 6 billion units.
The exercise will also give a push to the Union Government’s Make in India campaign. There are about 100 companies making LED lights and the requirement will be procured from them, adds Mr. Kumar. It is also expected that as the volumes go up the cost will come down by 25 per cent.
The cities in the States have to be selected by the respective governments, he says. For instance, in Srikakulam the distribution of LED bulbs has already begun.