Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority have embarked in a new pilot project – installing solar-powered LED street lighting in Nairobi with the potential for expansion across the country. The pilot, the first of its kind in East Africa, was launched on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) – whose headquarters is based in Nairobi – and the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, 2012.
The En.lighten Initiative: a public-private partnership for energy efficient lighting
The en.lighten initiative is a public-private partnership led by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in collaboration with Philips Lighting, Osram AG, and the National Lighting Test Centre of China. The initiative aims to highlight the benefits of sustainable energy sources and alternatives to expensive, less efficient traditional lighting.
According to UNEP, solar-powered LED is an efficient lighting technology that could save up to 100 per cent of energy compared to conventional lighting solutions.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “The past four decades have witnessed enormous innovation much of which is now commercial or becoming commercially cost-effective – energy efficient lighting systems being a case in point”.
“Governments and local authorities have significant purchasing power which can accelerate the evolution of markets in favour of low carbon, resource efficient goods and services – a key outcome of last month’s Rio+20 Summit in Brazil under the theme of sustainable procurement,” he added.
“UNEP is proud to be partnering with the government, the private sector and civil society to demonstrate that a transition to an inclusive Green Economy is happening and do-able in both developing to developed countries – from the public policies that are triggering a surge in renewable energy in Turkana and Naivasha; the energy efficient, solar-powered new offices of the UN at Gigiri to this piloting of LED lighting on UN Avenue, Kenya is indeed glimpsing a very different, more sustainable future for its citizens, the country and for Africa,” said Mr Steiner.
Lighting the Clear Revolution: the Rise of LED Street Lighting and implications for Cities in Africa
“A new generation of Solar powered LED road and area lighting has the potential to transform life throughout Africa at a social and economic level” says Andre Dehmel, Philips lighting General Manager Africa. “We are very proud to be supplying an example of this to the road outside the UNEP headquarters, today,” he said.
According to findings from a report by the Climate Group and Philips entitled, “Lighting the Clear Revolution, The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it means for Cities“, “the potential benefits of LED scale-up are immense” – particularly when combined with smart lighting control systems. The report explores the global market status and potential for LED and smart control technology – providing practical guidance for policy makers and lighting managers keen to scale up and finance large-scale LED retrofits.
“We are looking to work with key partners to develop project solutions which are meaningful for communities throughout the continent” says Tamer Abolghar, General Manager, Philips Lighting Egypt and East Africa.