On January 5, 2015, Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and LED Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) were launched. It has been five years now and the simple act of changing a bulb has created a range of positive impacts.
Illuminating the Lives in Many Folds
Before delving into the figures of emission reduction and energy savings, one thing that is common in everybody’s experience is that the homes have become brighter with the use of LED bulbs, and the streets have become safer as the SLNP initiative makes it easy for pedestrians and motorists to avert black spots. It can be said that the darker streets are believed to be more prone to criminal acts like chain snatching. In the last five years, LED streetlights installed have illuminated 3,00,000 km of roads in India. Also, having a brighter home means children can study more joyfully, while women can conduct their chores at ease.
Massive Energy Savings
Further, the numbers are impressive. Through the UJALA initiative, over 36.13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed across India. This has resulted in estimated energy savings of 46.92 billion kWh per year, avoided peak demand of 9,394 MW, and an estimated GHG emission reduction of 38 million t CO2 annually.
Under the SLNP programme, over 1.03 crore smart LED streetlights have been installed till date, enabling an estimated energy savings of 6.97 billion kWh per year with an avoided peak demand of 1,161 MW and an estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction of 4.80 million tCO2 annually. LED streetlights across the country are helping to generate approximately 13,000 jobs under Make in India initiative.
The power utilities of states where the installation of LEDs has been implemented save up to 50 per cent in electricity bills. Since the streetlights follows an automated system they switch on and off at sunrise and sunset thereby reducing wastage.
Reach at Grassroots
The best part of India’s LED revolution through UJALA and SLNP is the impact at the grassroots level. As part of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, 21,058 Indian villages, including a significantly large number of poor households, were able to buy LED bulbs for a special price under UJALA programme. Nearly 23 lakhs LED streetlights have already been retrofitted in the Gram Panchayats in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), the implementing agency, has an ambitious plan in this portfolio for next 4-5 years. It intends to bring investment to the tune of ₹ 8,000 crores by 2024 to cover entire rural India. It is expected that more than 30 million LED streetlights would be retrofitted/installed by EESL.
A Global Model
Through its large procurement model EESL ensured massive reduction in the price of LED bulb from ₹310 in 2015 to ₹38 in 2018.
EESL is taking the successful model of UJALA to places. In May 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) partially adopted UJALA; in the same year in September the Malaysian state of Melaka also embraced the scheme. Our article from the archive UJALA Goes to Malaysia: The Story of an International Model Designed by India had dealt with the subject at length. EESL has its operations in UK, South Asia and South-East Asia.
UJALA also paved way for similar initiatives like the one in the sphere of solar pumps at international level.