Government sheds light on energy-saving streetlamps

TREADING LIGHTLY::LED streetlamps are much more expensive, but use 40% less energy and will save NT$800 million in electricity fees every year

Staff Writer, with CNA

Sat, Jan 28, 2012 - Page 2

The government is planning to replace 30 percent of the country’s existing mercury vapor streetlamps with LED streetlamps this year to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said recently.

The ministry will replace about 300,000 old streetlamps with the LED lamps in five municipalities and 14 counties and cities nationwide.

The move is expected to benefit the country’s LED industry, said Lin Ching-hai (林青海), a section chief at the ministry’s Department of Industry Technology.

“We plan to spend NT$2 billion [US$66.6 million] this year to replace 30 percent of the mercury vapor streetlamps. The whole project will be completed in three to five years, with an additional budget of NT$6 billion,” Lin said.

If all of the 1.5 million traditional streetlamps in Taiwan, including mercury vapor lamps and high-pressure sodium lamps, are replaced by LED streetlamps, it will save more than 40 percent, or NT$800 million in electricity fees per year, according to the Bureau of Energy.

LED streetlamps are more energy-efficient and have a longer life and a lower failure rate than traditional mercury vapor streetlamps, which can help save maintenance costs. However, the current prices of LED lamps are also between five and eight times higher than those of mercury vapor lamps, the bureau said.

Prices of LED streetlamps should gradually fall with improvements in manufacturing technology, and the government will undertake more projects to promote LED streetlamps in the future, the bureau said.