Eliminating kerosene lamps could save $22bn a year

Annual savings of $22 billion (€16.6 billion) could be achieved by switching from fuel-based light sources to solar-powered alternatives, according to the United Nationals Environment Programme (UNEP). 

The programme’s en.lighten initiative has published 80 Country Lighting Assessments quantifying the economic and environmental gains that could be achieved by the introduction of solar lighting, with Bangladesh scoring the highest savings with a massive $1.8 billion (€1.4 billion).

The Country Lighting Assessments are the first of their kind to attempt to quantify the magnitude of financial savings, health benefits, development and carbon emission reductions that a coordinated global transition to modern and sustainable off-grid lighting can deliver.

Approximately 25 billion litres of kerosene and 1.4 million tonnes of candles are used each year for off-grid lighting, according to en.lighten, costing end users between $25 and 33 billion annually. This has an even higher price tag if government subsidies are taken into account.

These reports form part of the Lumina Project and had the help of Lighting Africa, the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, Philips Lighting and Osram. The assessments cover countries from Afganistan and Angola to Zambia and Zimbabwe and can be viewed on the luminanet.org website

Pic: Simone Bertinotti