A roundtable organized by GE Lighting, the lighting business of GE, to discuss the sustainability challenges in the lighting sector underlined the need to optimize solutions for design, operating, and control efficiency. This in turn contributes to lighting solutions that meet specific purpose and behavior, and promotes cost savings.
The roundtable discussion, ‘Lighting the Path to 2030: Opportunities and obstacles for the adoption of sustainable lighting,’ was attended by representatives of governmental departments, civil society organizations working to promote energy sustainability and the private sector including designers and architects. It served as a platform for all stakeholders in the industry to promote sustainability to find solutions for the application of the energy-efficient and environmentally friendlier LED lighting in the construction sector, from new projects to retrofits.
The key panel speakers at the event included: Solaiman Al-Rifai, Director of Project Finance, Dubai Carbon; Sarfraz Dairkee, Founding Member, Emirates Green Building Council; Moheet Vishwas, Lead Systems Specialist, Infratech; P R Jagannathan, Sustainability Director, JAFZA and Siddharth Mathur B'Arch, M.S. (Lighting Design) Design Director, Studio Lumen.
Agostino Renna, President & CEO of GE Lighting Europe, Middle East & Africa said: “With lighting accounting for a significant part of energy use, both for domestic and commercial purpose, it is important to shift the approach on lighting from treating it as a disposable commodity to a strategic asset. This calls for a different level of due diligence and decision making that focuses on the purpose, economics, and behavior of the lighting devices used.”
He added: “An ideal model for sustainable lighting solutions is to adopt systems that provide the highest level of lighting quality at the lowest level of operating cost. An outcome-based commercial model of lighting, developed through partnerships with key stakeholders, will be of particular value in meeting the outdoor and infrastructure related lighting needs.”
The discussion also centered on the use of LED lighting solutions, which are increasingly used across the region for its economic advantages, energy efficiency and aesthetic value. A study by McKinsey on the LED technology states that through the collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, and regulators, the barriers in its adaptation can be achieved, with the potential for LED lighting to dominate the market by 2015*.
The study says that LED is an environmentally and economically superior technology; LED bulbs, the report says, can generate more than 100 lumens per watt of electricity, compared with 60 to 75 for CFLs, while lasting three to five times longer. With no mercury in it, their disposal is safer, and can contribute up to 80 percent in energy savings. However, the value share of LED, despite its advantages, was only about 5 percent in the whole of Middle East and Africa in 2011.
“We strongly believe that LED is the future of lighting solutions in the region, especially with demand for power growing in tune with the population growth and infrastructure development,” said George Bou Mitri, General Manager for GE Lighting, Middle East, Africa & Turkey. “With a growing footprint in providing energy efficient and advanced LED lighting solutions in the Middle East region, we are focused on delivering end-user value, covering all aspects such as lighting design, financial modeling, outcome based solutions, installation, maintenance, and market intelligence,” he added.
The session focused on aspects including LED transition, the role of lighting in public spaces to raise awareness of energy-efficient solutions, the role of the public sector in setting the agenda for energy-efficient lighting, the obstacles in implementation, and challenges in adopting LED, among others.
With its regional distribution center located in Dubai and a strong regional footprint in indoor and outdoor lighting in the Middle East, GE Lighting is underlining importance of energy-efficient lighting solutions to support the region’s focus on sustainable development.
GE Lighting has a rich history in the Middle East having established long-standing business association with over 70 key partners over the past several decades. The company established its full-fledged team in the region 15 years ago, and today has several professionals driving the operations.