Philips introduces energy efficiency initiatives in India

Mumbai: Philips Electronics India, which pioneered the concept of energy efficient lighting in India with the introduction of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), has outlined ambitious plans to sell 20 million CFLs in India by December 2007, from 12-13 million bulbs sold last year. Philips invented the energy-saving CFLs 26 years ago.

Lighting is responsible for 19 per cent of the world''s electricity consumption, according to the International Energy agency. According to industry sources, In India, the incandescent bulb uses up to 95 per cent of the energy to generate heat and only remaining 5 per cent to produce light. CFLs use only 20 per cent of the energy used by an ordinary light bulb.

In India, 18,000 megawatt power annually is used for lighting purposes alone, out of which 12,000 MW can be saved by using CFLs. The power crisis in the country is reflected in the MAIT-Emerson Network Power (India) study on Network Power Downtime, which reveals that India Inc. could be losing over Rs22,000 crores in year 2003, in direct losses, due to poor power quality and operating environment related downtime — estimated to be around 2.2 per cent of the gross output of the total industrial and service sectors.

S Venkataramani, head, lighting division, Philips Electronics India, elaborated on the growth in company''s CFL business. "CFL bulbs which contributed less than 1 per cent to our lighting business last year, now form 20 per cent of our business. We are committed to ramping up production of CFLs to meet the rising demand in countries like India. In the past five years alone, Philips has invested more than EUR 400 million in R&D, resulting in attractive new energy efficient lighting solutions."

Philips announced various initiatives that the company has undertaken as part of its commitment to energy efficient lighting. The electronics major is working closely with several state government bodies to spread awareness on the issue. Last year, Philips tied up with Calcutta Port Trust (CPT) for the Howrah Bridge illumination project. The bridge was fitted with modern and energy efficient equipments like Arenavision, Nocturnes and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

The company is also working closely with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a globally renowned not-for-profit research organization focusing on energy, environment and sustainable development and several awareness based initiatives are in the pipeline.

"Our goal is to create an ecosystem comprising industry bodies, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and education institutes to break down the barriers towards adoption of energy efficient lighting. In a first of sorts in the lighting industry in the country, Philips had recently pledged an advertising budget of Rs 20 crores towards awareness building initiatives like ''Bijli Bachao'' campaign and other educational activities like creating awareness amongst school children. We are also in process of finalizing some energy conservation projects with the Government of India", added Venkatramani.

Philips has a long track record in energy efficient lighting. For years the company has been spending a large part of its R&D budget on energy efficiency and this year it is more than half of the total spend. Since the early 1980''s dramatic improvements have been achieved in energy efficiency, switching speed and light quality.

Mr. Venkatramani averred, "Energy efficient lighting technology developed over the last two decades offers significant savings in energy, expense and carbon dioxide emission. Despite these advances, between 67% and 75% of the world''s lights utilize older, less energy efficient technology — some dating as far back as the 1950s."

The new generation CFL bulbs last an average of six years and each one provides a saving of 80% in energy consumed. That''s a saving of EUR 12 and 34 kilos of CO2 per lamp per year. Some other solutions provided by Philips are Compact fluorescents, Compact halogen bulbs, LED technology and Capitalizing on LED design possibilities. Philips has offerings in office lighting, intelligent LED lighting, energy-saving TVs to lamps with decorator appeal which have the ability to halve energy consumption.