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India state leaders share best policies to speed up LED adoption

11 April 2012
India state leaders share best policies to speed up LED adoption

NEW DELHI: High-level workshops took place in the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Orissa this week, as part of a project by The Climate Group which aims to drive policies supporting large-scale adoption of LED street lighting.

The Climate Group is working with the British High Commission on the initiative, which aims to enable Indian states to build policies for the implementation of LED technology  across the nation.

To accelerate awareness of the low carbon lighting's benefits, two senior-level state workshops took place in Kolkata, West Bengal, on April 4 and Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, on April 10, 2012.

The workshops brought together senior officials from distribution companies (DISCOMs), municipal corporations, regulatory commissions, State Designated Agencies and other departments, to share the benefits of energy efficenct LED lighting , and discuss the policy initiatives that will advance large-scale adoption of the technology.

West Bengal 

West Bengal is already demonstrating Clean Revolution leadership with its reduced tariffs specifically for LED street lighting. But as the workshop revealed, the state is doing much more.

Debashish Sen, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, West Bengal, opened the workshop by focusing on the need for increased awareness of low carbon technologies and the available policy tools to support their adoption. He said that investment in LED lighting ‘makes economic sense’, although economic analysis is ‘very much required’, because it is difficult to convince auditors to invest in lesser known technologies.

Next, Malay De, Principal Secretary, Power and NES Dept, West Bengal, spoke of how energy services companies can be explored for investments in large scale projects, and Sandeep Garg, Energy Economist, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) outlined BEE’s latest progress in support of LED up-scale. He confirmed that laboratories are being set-up to test LEDs by BEE, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standard for LEDs is under finalization, and that BEE is planning to spend Rs 600 crores in the next five years for the promotion of LEDs.


The meeting in Orissa was attended by officials from municipal corporations including Cuttack, Rourkela, Bhubaneshwar, the State Development Agency, the Regulatory Commission and various DISCOMS and manufacturers.

The workshop spotlighted the feasibility of LED technology as well as possible barriers for mainstreaming the technology. Discussions also centered on the technological specifications of LED streetlights.

Tom George, Second Secretary Climate and Energy Security, Climate Change and Energy Unit, British High Commission (BHC), said that reforming the electricity market is key to addressing climate change. He emphasized that communities and governments must work to enhance energy efficiency, drawing on BHC’s climate-friendly industrial policies as an example.

Rabinarayan Nanda, Commissioner, Cuttack Municipal Corporation, showed a keen interest in adopting LED street lighting in the city of Cuttack, identifying target roads for implementation. 

B C Jena, Chairman and CEO, Central Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa, suggested that Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) approach the Commission for LED tariff rebates after showcasing pilots' benefits. He said: “ULBs can demonstrate a pilot project and based on savings and gains out of the project, they should approach the regulatory commission asking for rebates instead of just filing a petition or sending a request letter.”

B K Mishra, Commissioner, Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission, emphasized the importance of public awareness towards using LED lamps. Although he shared his apprehensions about revenue subsidy, BK Mishra said LED technology has been proven and has the potential to become an effective lighting nationwide solution

Commenting on the two workshops, Aditi Dass, Director of Programs for India, The Climate Group said: “The participation from the ULBs and other policy makers in both workshops was very encouraging. In-depth discussions of policy options and the enthusiasm of municipalities to take up LED street lighting pilots is indeed a step ahead for accelerating the Clean Revolution in Indian states. The British High Commission has also expressed its happiness in being a part of this energy conservation process, which will redefine the city lighting systems.”

Read more on LED street lighting


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