Energy efficient lights and Renewable energy

Already energy-efficient, compact fluorescent lights are now being made eco-friendly too by applying stringent EU norms.

In an effort to make the energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) even more better and eco-friendly, manufacturers are adopting latest European norms on restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS).

Currently, most CFL manufacturers worldwide use liquid mercury due to its cost effectiveness and simple technology. The disadvantage is that, technically, it is extremely difficult to limit the weight of liquid mercury, something that is extremely toxic in nature.

In fact, the average CFL contains at least 3-5 times more liquid mercury than that prescribed by global or even Indian norms.

Now, CFL manufacturers are going in for ‘pill-dosing technology’, which uses an amalgamated mercury pill that is less harmful to the environment as compared to the conventional use of liquid mercury.

These pills also conform to the domestic and international standards o the use of mercury in CFLs. In India, Delhi-based Havells is one of the few firms at the forefront of his endeavor converting all three of its assembly lines to the latest technology.

Havells is maintaining the same price for the new CFLs though manufacturing green CFLs is costlier than the traditional ones. The objective is to educate consumers about using eco-friendly appliances and how they help keeping the environment clean.

The step couldn’t have come at a better time as, globally demand for CFLs is about to explode due to global warming issues and many countries increasingly phasing out GLS lamps.

This would be significant as lighting consums about 20 percent of electricity in India, and experts say a switch to CFL will help, for it uses only a fifth of the power of traditional bulbs for similar lighting. So making them eco-friendly would be an added advantage.

Greenpeace has already stated that all manufacturers should be required to phase out hazardous substances in their CFLs as soon as environmentally sustainable alternatives are available, establish take back schemes and ensure effective recycling of CFLs. The RoHS compliant CFL is a step exactly in the same direction.

CFL capacity rising

Meanwhile, according to an official at Electric Lamp & Component Manufacturer’s Association (ELCOMA), CFL capacity in the country is now rising fast, by around 40 percent per year to catch up with the demand. Notably, India produced just 60 million of the 100 million CFLs sold in 2006.

Indo Asian Fusegear Limited is one firm which plans to raise its capacity four-fold by 2012 from 30 million pieces per year currently.

Similarly, Havells aims to make 60 millions pieces per annum next year, up from current 36 million pieces per year.

Financial services firm First Global has already projected that the country’s penetration rate of 2 percent in CFL compared with 15-20 percent in developed countries will see the segment grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 50 percent in the next 10 years.

The Renewable energy (RE) segment is actually a vast group of sub industries (wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and bio-energy) that offer employment opportunities for people with different educational backgrounds. Engineers, scientists, architects, lawyers, business people, human resource and public affairs specialists as well as a host of administrative support workers have opportunities in various aspects of researching developing installing and promoting RE. For years now, remote villages have relied on wood stoves and diesel generators to provide heat and electricity. Efforts to increase the use of energy though solar, wind and biomass sources in remote areas have put the nation at the forefront of renewable power use.