Goal of Enlighten 2020: Complete replacement of public street lights in Chile

Publicado: 21 January, 2016 proyecto de fch recambiará luminarias hacia 2020

Accelerate and boost the efficient lighting market is the objective of the international Project Enlighten, that Fundación Chile will implement at national level within three years. The program’s goal is to save 4,8% of the country’s electricity consumption and 34% of lighting, which results in 1,2 million tons of carbon emissions reduction and savings for U$596 million.

The projects looks for a change in regulations about different lighting technologies, the creation of a business model for the mercury residues recycling, implementation of LED lighting pilot projects and control systems. Those actions will be possible thanks to the collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment and the United Nation Environment Program (PNUMA), besides private companies and testing laboratories.

LED lamps are more efficient since its average energy consumption is between 60 to 70% less than the traditional lighting system.

Incandescent light bulbs, by Chilean regulations, will no longer be for sale after December 2015 due to the existence of new technologies in the market with less energy consumption, offering same or better lighting quality. LED lamps, on the other hand, are more efficient since its average energy consumption is between 60 to 70% less than the traditional lighting system.

“The replacement of incandescent light bulbs to LED’s is one the most efficient measurements in reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Considering only direct impacts of this initiative, we have estimated the cost of producing one ton of CO2 in US$ 0,16” explained Ana María Ruz, Sustainable Energy Director of Fundación Chile.

Besides that, the project approaches the purposes of the new Law for Energy Efficiency, waiting to enter into the Congress in March 2016. One of its main objectives is the planning of efficient programs for replacement of luminaires.

Open the waste market and create pilots

The initiative Enlighten looks for giving a sustainable solution to the mercury residues present in traditional light bulbs, specifically in fluorescent tubes and the fluorescent compacted light bulbs (or saving light bulbs). This measure complies with the Minamata Convention On Mercury signed by Chile in 2013, agreement that regulates processes in which mercury is used. The toxic potential of this chemical, both in direct contact with humans as well as in sanitary landfill, gives relevance to this action.

“The design of a business model that is responsible of the mercury residues recycling, like the one already existing in many OECD countries, is fundamental, but depends in a large extent, on the Product Extended Accountability (REP), currently pending in Congress” added  Mrs. Ruz.

The implementation of working pilot projects also belongs to the Enlighten group of actions. New lighting and control systems must be tested in order to validate their efficiency, show and disseminate the benefits of this technology. The program seeks, with the significant increase of sales, to change the national market thanks to a reduction in certified quality LED light bulbs prices.

The project is accomplished by Fundación Chile, together with the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment, United Nation Environment Program (PNUMA), Osram, Philips and the National Lighting Test Center of China.