Kuala Lumpur -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have committed themselves to work together to switch to efficient lighting standards and policies, a move that will significantly reduce energy consumption in the region.
Meeting at the 19th annual meeting of the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Sub-Sector Network (EE&C-SSN) - organized by the ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE) - Directors of Energy of ASEAN countries agreed that high efficiency lighting solutions, such as light emitting diode (LED) technology and controls, offer immense potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in the region. The emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community that would develop a single market in 2015 is also a remarkable opportunity to foster intraregional trade of high quality lighting products to speed up the transition to efficient lighting.
Estimates by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Global Environment Facility (GEF) en.lighten initiative show that the market transition to efficient lighting in ASEAN could result in annual savings of over US $3.5 billion in electricity bills for consumers and a reduction of 35 terawatt-hours (TWh) in electricity consumption, as well as an associated decrease in CO2 emissions of more than 20 million tonnes.
The agreed ASEAN plan outlines a six-step approach to regional harmonization of lighting standards and policy - from assessment of the regional market and development of a regional roadmap, through national implementation of the roadmap, to awareness raising campaigns and activities for end-users - and a model for a working group and steering committee infrastructure to implement the plan.
By agreeing on this proposal, EE&C-SSN members have committed to work towards national implementation of the roadmap by early 2018, under the leadership of ACE, in partnership with the UNEP en.lighten initiative.
'The ASEAN Economic Community will generate greater trade and growth in the region, but the opportunity of this Community to also drive environmental sustainability must not be lost. This ambitious move to transform the lighting market to high efficiency products is a vital component of greening the ASEAN Economic Community and bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to its people,' said Kaveh Zahedi, Regional Representative for UNEP for Asia and the Pacific.
The resources and experience of the UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative and the lites.asia network, supported until now by the Australian Government, will facilitate the implementation of the proposed plan.