Lighting accounts for 15% of the global electricity consumption — more than the electricity generated by all the nuclear power stations in the world — and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. An overnight global transition to highly efficient lighting could avoid more than 800 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to displacing 684 coal-fired power plants for a year.
At CEM6, 12 countries and the European Commission came together to launch the Global Lighting Challenge (GLC) – a global race to push the global market toward cumulative global sales of 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality, and affordable advanced lighting products, such as LEDs.
Since its launch, the GLC built a volunteer coalition with more than 60 governments, manufacturers, retailers, and expert groups working together to accomplish its 10 billion product goal.
The GLC was originally inspired by India’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA), which is working to deploy nearly 800 million LED lights to residents throughout the country. Competitive bidding by manufacturers who participate in the UJALA program has led to sales of over 150 million certified LED bulbs and has brought the price per bulb in India down to less than $1 per bulb.
The GLC has inspired significant efforts to take up the challenge, leading to significant impacts and successes.
As a model for future success, Sweden launched its national lighting campaign in 2016. The potential for reduced energy consumption from lighting in Sweden is estimated to be 6-7 TWh (out of a total 14 TWh that is used for lighting each year). Through close collaboration with public and private sectors, including retailers, all government levels, and other actors, Sweden aims to reduce the nation’s electricity demand for lighting by half by 2020.
The GLC laid the groundwork to build future public-private partnerships as a mechanism to increase deployment and uptake of energy efficient appliances, and more. The GLC retired at CEM9 in 2018, but the lessons we have learned can be applied for years to come.