Zoran Vasiljev, Managing Director at Value Partners Dubai
Value Partners, leading management consultancy in the Middle East, has evaluated that technology improvements would be more effective than changing consumption behaviors, bringing into light LED illumination.
“With LED illumination, Middle East households can save 10-12 percent of total energy consumption, while the commercial sector can save 40 percent,” said Zoran Vasiljev, Managing Director at Value Partners Dubai.
According to Value Partners, light source technology can be divided in three main areas:
Incandescent lamps, using a thin filament of tungsten, where luminous efficiency is lower than 10 percent, due to the fact that most of the energy becomes heat.
Gas discharge lamps, where light is produced by a electricity discharge in a mixture of gases, such as neon, high pressure sodium or metal halide, with lighting efficiencies ranging from 10-15 percent of the classic T5 lamp to 22-29 percent of sodium vapour lamps.
Solid state lamps, using semiconductor light emitting diodes (LEDs), where efficiency is rapidly improving up to 160 lumen/Watt, meaning a LED with this performance can produce the same illumination as a 60W incandescent light using only 7W.
“When it comes to energy efficiency and environment sustainability in the Middle East, LEDs may thus be the natural candidates to substitute conventional lights, due to their continuous and rapid growth in performance backed up by a high product lifetime and by the relatively low impact on the environment,” continued Vasiljev. “Incandescent lights are being progressively banned due to their poor conversion efficiency, while fluorescent lamps may be banned in the future because of their mercury content.”
“LEDs will be experiencing diminishing cost thanks to volume effects. Haitz law (equivalent of Moore’s law for semiconductors) predicts that every decade the LED light output increases 20 times (around +35 percent every year), while the cost decreases by a factor of 10 (-25 percent each year). According to the US Department of Energy, this cost reduction trend suggests that white LED luminous efficacy and costs should compare to compact fluorescent lights by 2013. We believe this evolution will determine a rapid growth for the LED lighting market”, added Alessandro Leona, senior Manager at Value Partners.
This rapid growth could be fostered by a combination of factors: from the rapidly increasing luminous performance – which has gone above the 100 lm/W that make LEDs good substitutes for compact fluorescent lamps – to the continuous government attention to energy efficiency and non-polluting materials (such as the mercury in compact fluorescent lamps); from the proliferation of lighting fixtures and retrofits based on LEDs that are being spread across the commercial sector – which alone accounts for half of the consumed energy for illumination – to the progressive reduction in LED prices, due to scale-volume effects.
Value Partners states that, in order to let LED technology replace our old-economy light bulbs, the industrial and scientific communities will have to widely promote the main advantages over the current solutions and commercialise the product with a total-cost-of-ownership concept. One factor that may help the fast adoption of LEDs is the continuous dissemination of technological achievements, case histories and relative energy savings by renowned industry players, academic institutions and governmental agencies.
“In the short term, LED lighting may be quite expensive as an initial investment, but taking into consideration the longer life, 50 times that of a conventional incandescent light bulb, and lower consumption, 20 percent of energy input to obtain the same level of illumination, the payback could be reached in less than two years, without the need for government incentives,” continued Vasiljev.