Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Apr 01, 2002
Industry & Economy
CF lamps: Ray of hope amid power crisis?
Mony K. Mathew
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 31
IT may sound a bit too far-fetched if someone says that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will solve Kerala's perennial problems on the power front. It may even be construed as a ruse to help out the CFL manufacturers in the country and outside.
But a study done by the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) reveals that CF lamps can indeed be an important component of load side management to substantially bring down peak-hour power requirement.
According to the study's findings, if five CF lamps of 18 watts each are used for an average four hours a day per household, the energy consumed will be 0.4 units. This works out to 146 units a year per household.
On the other hand, if five bulbs of 100 watts are used for four hours, the energy consumed is 20 units a day and 730 units a year per household.
Thus, the energy saved by using CF lamps works out to 584 units annually for a single household.
ANERT has calculated that for five lakh households, the total energy saved will be 292 million units per year, which is equivalent to a generating capacity of 73 MW.
More importantly, the saving can be achieved in one year through distribution of CF lamps, whereas setting up a generating capacity of 73 MW may take years.
It is estimated that there are nearly 45 lakh household consumers in the State and a major chunk of the consumption is for lighting purpose.
Going by the findings of ANERT, the energy saved through the use of CF lamps will be substantial.
In a proposal submitted to the State Government some time back, ANERT has said that it has acquired sufficient technical knowhow in developing, evaluating, testing and quality control of CF lamps with electronic ballast.
It has also set up a modern testing laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram that can test CF lamps for national and international standards.
The proposal also lists out in detail the methods to be adopted for the selection of suppliers of the lamps and their distribution to the consumers.
On its part, ANERT has been supplying a limited number of the lamps through block offices.
The proposal, however, has not been completely lost sight of, as the renewable energy policy of the State Government, approved by the Cabinet recently, has made the use of CF lamps mandatory in certain areas such as new hospitals, hotels, Government offices and offices of public sector undertakings.
Regarding existing hospitals, hotels and Government and PSU offices, the incandescent lamps currently being used should be replaced with CF lamps of prescribed quality within two years from the date the policy comes into force.
ANERT has been entrusted with the task of ensuring this with the help of local self-Government and other Government agencies.
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