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Monday, October 13, 2008

CFL: Green way of life


CFL: Green way of life

The Indian government's 'bachat lamp yojna' (CFL scheme) has paved the way for a greener tomorrow. The CFL lamps are energy efficient and help in cutting down the emmission of carbon diorxide and other green house gases.

WHEN PETER Cooper Hewitt invented the parent to the modern CFL (compact fluorescent light/bulb) in 1890, he did not know it would turn out to be a revolutionary piece of technology. CFLs are still not extensively used around the world due to the high costs as compared to incandescent bulbs. The usage of incandescent bulbs across India and the world contributes highly to the emission of green house gases. Though the green house gases are essential to maintain the temperature of the earth, however, an excess of it can raise the temperatures to lethal levels.

With a population of over 1.1 billion and a fast developing economy, India is soon going to become one of the largest consumers of electricity. Lighting accounts for almost 20 per cent of total electricity demand in the country. Vast amount of lighting in the country is provided by incandescent bulbs, which are extremely energy inefficient. The governments of Australia and Canada have already announced nationwide bans on incandescent bulbs.

Following in the footsteps, the Government of India has come up with the “Bachat lamp yojna.” The limiting factor in the large scale use of CFL’s is their high cost, which is in the range of Rs 80-120, whereas incandescent bulbs are in the Rs 10-15 price range. The government seeks to use the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol to bring down the prices of CFL to Rs 15. Under the scheme, the 60 W and 100 W incandescent lamps would be replaced with 11 to 15 W and 20 to 25 W CFLs respectively.

The CFL’s are better than incandescent bulbs on every front. The average life span of a CFL is 8 to 15 times that of incandescent bulbs. CFLs typically have a lifespan of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, whereas incandescent lamps are usually manufactured to have a lifespan of 750 hours or 1,000 hours. Though the purchase of a CFL is 5 to 10 times greater than an incandescent bulb, the extended life span and the energy efficiency compensates for the higher initial cost.

Though this move seems like an impossible dream, but dreams do come true. The project will first be started in Visakhapatnam and the government plans to replace 400 million incandescent bulbs around the country in the next three or four years. This change will reduce the power demand by a whopping 2500 MW and more importantly the carbon dioxide emissions will go down. Each CFL bulb consumes one-fourth the power of an incandescent bulb. A single bulb may not do much, but changes all around the country ends up avoiding 24 million tonnes of climate changing carbon dioxide emissions.

India, a pioneer of this scheme will bring about a revolutionary change around the world. With increasing concern over climate change and melting ice cap, every small step paves the way for a cleaner and a greener future. Green is the way to go, if we want the coming generations to experience the beauty of nature. Every human being has to join hands to support such endeavours and pave the way for a better tomorrow. “Go green”

CFL: Green way of life

1 comment: said...


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