NEWS
China to block incandescent future

China unveiled a three-step plan to phase out energy-guzzling incandescents, due to begin October 2012


Imports and sales of 100 watt and higher incandescent lamps will be banned on 1 October 2012, Xie Ji, deputy director of the Chinese environment department, said in a conference.

In the conference he outlined the time line of the three-step plan.

  • Ban on 100W and higher – 1 October 2012
  • Ban on 60W and higher – 1 October 2014
  • Ban on 15W and higher – 1 October 2016

The final step may be adjusted by the government after a mid-term evaluation which will run for one year and end on 30 September 2016.

Ji was quoted by Xinhaunet, A Xinhau news agency, as saying that in 2010, production of incandescent light bulbs totalled 3.85 billion units and domestic sales stood at 1.07 billion.

The move shows China’s determination to curb environmental damage and promote energy-efficiency. After implementing the plan, Ji predicted China will save 48 billion kilowatt hours of power a year and reduce carbon emissions by 48 million tonnes annually.

Ji said the plan will ‘have significant impact’ in reducing the use of incandescent lamps worldwide.

The Xinahaunet report quotes Christophe Bahuet, deputy country director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as saying: ‘Phasing out incandescent lamps in China will not only promote lighting technology progress and lighting industry upgrading and optimisation, it will also make a positive contribution for realising China’s energy conservation and emission reduction goal.’

Power consumption for lighting in China accounts for 12 per cent of the country’s total electricity use. The move is expected to have huge knock on effects on the country’s energy savings and emissions.

According to the Global Environmental Facility, incandescents make up 50-70 per cent of worldwide sales and China’s move to phase the inefficient lamps out, forms a marked contrast to the US government’s regress on the subject – this summer saw republicans driving a bill through the House of Representatives stripping all funding for government enforcement of improved lighting efficiency standards, which come into force next year.

The UNDP hopes this move will inspire others around the world.

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