Digital Agenda and Solid State Lighting (SSL)
The Digital Agenda for Europe setting out Europe's strategy for a flourishing digital economy by 2020, was published in May 2010.
This Digital Agenda includes two actions on lighting, both under Pillar VII: ICT for Social Challenges (Digital technologies have enormous potential to benefit our everyday lives and tackle social challenges. The Digital Agenda focuses on ICTs capability to reduce energy consumption, support ageing citizens' lives, revolutionises health services and deliver better public services. ICTs can also drive forward the digitisation of Europe's cultural heritage providing online access for all).
1. New report "Lighting the Cities – accelerating the deployment of innovative lighting in European cities" published
Following up on the Green Paper "Lighting the Future" the Commission in 2012 set up a dedicated Task Force that collected concrete experiences of LED lighting deployment in European cities, in close cooperation with the Photonics Unit. The new report with a Foreword from Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes is the result of the work of this Task Force. It provides concrete guidelines that may help cities and municipal services to develop and implement a forward-looking, sustainable urban lighting strategy and making the switch to LED-based lighting.
The report is available here for download:
2. Public Consultation on the Green Paper on Solid State Lighting (SSL)
As part of the Digital Agenda for Europe the European Commission has published the results of the public consultation on the future of LED-based lighting in Europe, which was held from 15 December 2011 to 29 February 2012. The consultation was based on the Green Paper "Lighting the Future", in which the Commission proposed measures to speed up the deployment of innovative and eco-friendly LED lighting in the European Union and to foster the position of the European lighting industry. 125 interested parties submitted their views on existing challenges for a wider market uptake of LED-based lighting solutions and how to overcome them.
Amongst the main findings of the report major concerns raised by respondents include the risk of buying products of unproven or insufficient quality, the lack of information for consumers and professional end users, and high initial purchase costs.
Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, thanks all respondents for their contributions, which will be taken into account to further develop a European strategy in this field.
The consultation results are available for download:
3. Green Paper on Solid State Lighting (SSL)
The Commission has published a Green Paper on Solid State Lighting (SSL) to explore the barriers for the wide deployment of SSL technology and to put forward policy suggestions; it will in parallel support demonstration projects using the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP).
Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes announced on 15 Dec. 2011 the adoption of a Green Paper and the launch of a public consultation on the future of LED-based lighting. In its Green Paper "Lighting the Future" the Commission proposes measures to speed up the deployment of this innovative and eco-friendly lighting that saves energy and money while offering a good quality of light, and to foster the global leadership position of the European lighting industry.
The public was invited to share its views on how to overcome existing challenges for wider market uptake of LED-based lighting solutions. Answers from the public consultation will help the Commission to further develop a European strategy in this field. The public consultation closed on 29 Feb. 2012. See previous heading on this topic.
SSL, mainly using Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that are based on semiconductor materials, is becoming the most energy-efficient and versatile lighting technology. By combining advanced SSL with intelligent light management systems, up to 70% of the energy used today in lighting can be saved as well as offering the users better quality light, where and when they need it. The Green Paper will explore the issues related to the wider deployment of SSL technology and its potential benefits in terms of:
- Lower energy use - SSL is one of the most effective ways of cutting CO2 emissions, reducing pollution and meeting Europe's 20/20/20 energy efficiency targets
- Promoting industrial competitiveness of the European lighting industry, which is mostly SME-based, so as to become a global technology leader
- Societal and economic benefits for the citizens and public authorities, given that SSL technology offers better quality light and visual comfort, has extremely long lifetime and lower maintenance costs, thus promising long term cost savings for consumers and public authorities.
Read more on Action 72: Launch Green Paper on Solid State Lighting (SSL)
4. Member States to include specifications for total lifetime costs for public lighting in public procurement
The Commission will be recommending the use of Life Cycle Costing, specifying total lifetime costs rather than initial purchase costs for all public procurement of lighting installations. In that respect, it will publish, in 2012, a set of specifications for total lifetime costs for tenders on public lighting installations. This will allow SSL to compete fairly against its alternatives and the public authorities and the general public to enjoy its benefits in terms of better quality light, less environmental damage, and lower long-term costs.
To assist the Commission in these two actions, a Technical Working Group on SSL made up of representatives of various members of the value chain, from the lighting and luminaire industry through lighting designers, electrical contractors, and end user representatives has been established. The group will represent their organisations and its stakeholders and provide relevant position papers and advice to the Commission; act as 'multipliers' of the Commission's activities on the DAE actions; disseminate where relevant and interact with their constituency and collect and provide their collective views and feedback.