Lighting Global releases Eco Design Note #4: Energy and Carbon benefits of Pico-powered Lighting

Evan posted a blog note on this subject back at the end of March and we have adapted and summarized some of these findings in a new Lighting Global Eco Design Note. In addition to summarizing research findings on embodied energy, we have also included a discussion on black carbon emission reductions that can occur when kerosene lamps are replaced with pico-solar products.

The Eco Note focuses on the macro/global aspects of pico-solar energy and attempts to paint that big picture portrait - where a local solution actually does have a global reach. When the black carbon paper was released many of us were surprised at the magnitude of climate forcing from kerosene lamps - one estimate puts this forcing from simple wick kerosene lamps at 5% of annual US climate emissions. 5 percent! This is a substantial greenhouse constituent (an aerosol as opposed to a gas) - and one where eliminating the source has profound positive benefits for the people served. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but perhaps these types of arguments can help broaden the audience for this technology and serve as support for the continued growth of the market.


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Comment by Evan Mills on September 5, 2014 at 12:11pm

It's good to see continued work on this subject. There remain significant disparities about numbers being circulated on off-grid lighting energy use and the hope is that the major players (e.g. UNEP, Lighting Global, The Lumina Project, and other researchers) coordinate more closely and work towards a consistent and unified analysis and messaging in the marketplace.

Readers should understand that the UNEP numbers referenced in this latest report are actually in draft and are expected to change substantially--in the upwards direction--when published in final form.  There are also many caveats in the underlying black carbon estimates (Lam et al), which are also likely far lower than actual levels from the off-grid lighting sector as a whole. 


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