Energy efficient lighting can save Bhutan Nu 142 mn a year

Research studies indicate that in developing countries up to 86 percent of electricity produced is consumed for lighting purposes. Applying more efficient lighting systems could therefore lead to huge energy savings and reduction in carbon dioxide.

In partnership with universities in Finland, Greece, France and Nepal and co funded by Erasmus+ programme of European Union, the Jigme Namgyal Engineering College (JNEC) in Dewathang recently organised a seminar to promote Energy Efficient Lighting Education in Nepal and Bhutan (ENLAB).

The seminar is aimed at creating awareness on usage of energy among major stakeholders in a country and understanding the policy, perception and usage of energy efficient lighting system. It is to enable industries to create an opportunity for joint-research and development programmes in the area of Energy Efficient Lighting Systems.

The overall objective of the ENLAB project is to facilitate engineering colleges in Nepal and Bhutan to introduce modules, research and training programmes in energy efficient lighting systems.

Dr. Andu Drukpa, JNEC Director said that in developing countries, a major chunk of the electricity generated is used for lighting and this is true for both Nepal and Bhutan. “But we are focusing more on electricity generation and less on efficient utilization of electricity,” he said.

As per the department of renewable energy’s estimate there are around 700,000 incandescent bulbs in Bhutan that consume about 168,000 units of energy worth Nu 390,000 (US$ 5,829) every day. “If these 700,000 incandescent bulbs are replaced, there will be a saving of approximately 61.320 million units (MU), which in monetary value is about Nu. 142 million a year.

The incandescent bulbs waste about 80 percent in producing heat. “Therefore is a growing need for technical expertise and experience to work on  efficient utilization of electrical energy,” Andu Drukpa said. “Unfortunately, in the engineering colleges in Bhutan as well as in Nepal, there are no modules that are fully dedicated to study of energy efficient lighting systems.”

To accelerate the practice JNEC has setup a laboratory dedicated to lighting energy as a part of project.

The project also aims to assist Nepal and Bhutan to reduce electricity consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions through capacity building of human resources in the fields of energy efficient lighting systems.

The project activities are divided into work packages consisting of project management and communication, need assessment and awareness raising, development of new courses, pedagogical methods and lighting lab and accreditation of courses, testing and training and dissemination, promotion and collaboration with industry.

The awareness seminar has so far been conducted in five countries including Nepal, Finland, France, Greece and Bhutan.

The one-day awareness seminar in Bhutan was attended by the managing director of Druk Green Power Corporation Ltd, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, experts from the partner universities in Europe, representatives from the department of renewable energy (MoEA), Bhutan power corporation Ltd., Bhutan electricity authority, Bhutan standards bureau and College of Science and Technology.

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