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1.2 billion people worldwide have no electrivity

1.2 billion people worldwide have no electricity

By Josephine Naaeke, GNA, Marrakech, Morocco,

Marrakech (Morocco), Nov. 13, GNA – An energy efficiency expert said that 1.2 billion people in the world are living without access to electricity, in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and other parts of the world.

Mr Bill Bien, Head of Strategy, Philips Lighting made this known at a day’s event on the topic: “Momentum for Change: Energy Efficiency Through Smart Lighting Systems Event.”

The event took place at the at 22nd session of the Conference of Parties in Marrakech, Morocco where climate experts, civil society organisations and youth delegates in climate change discussed ways to arrive at concrete actions for smooth implementation of the Paris Agreement signed in December 2015.

Mr Bien explored how countries, cities and corporations were using smart lighting systems to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy costs. 

He said these systems were creating a profound transformation of the lighting sector, pushing the old technologies out of the market.

The energy and Green House Gas (GHG) saving potential of this one single technology-smart lighting systems, are huge, with the potential to reduce by half the energy demand from lighting - representing 15 per cent of total electricity consumption and five per cent of GHG emissions, Mr Bill said.

He indicated that hundreds of governments, businesses and financial institutions pledged major action on energy efficiency at COP 21, recognising it as the basis of the energy transition. 

He said with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy access, the international community set itself a clear roadmap towards a clean energy, sustainable future.

Mr Bien explained that in order to achieve energy efficiency, governments would need to understand the problem, from the transmission to distribution levels.

He said Global off grade lighting alliance had encouraged solar panel lighting for streets, markets and homes.

“We rolled out street solar panel light in India last year and also have 100 lights centres in Africa from Cape Town to Cairo,” he said.

He said the lights for homes were very affordable and were equivalent to a number of l months’ worth of charcoal.

Mr Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs for Philips Lighting said in Africa 600 million people were without light and indicated that some approaches needed to be adopted including, community light centres, street lighting for news cities and solar lanterns for indoor use so that people especially in the rural areas could have access to light.

He said it was encouraging that governments response to energy efficiency was very positive and were very much in support of projects that would map towards green growth.

He told the Ghana News Agency that “we have done some street lighting in Ghana about three to four years ago,” adding that the government is very responsive to adopting energy efficiency technology.


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