US DOE releases new report analyzing LED-based SSL savings potential

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new report that analyzes the potential energy savings of broadly deployed solid-state lighting (SSL) sources – predominantly LED- and OLED-based products. The DOE projects that between 2010 and 2030, SSL could save 1,488 terawatt-hours representing a savings of $120 billion at today's energy prices.

The DOE has taken an active role in supporting and funding SSL lighting both to achieve energy savings and to position the US as a global leader in SSL technology. This latest report updates previous projections the DOE made in SSL lighting over the last decade.

The multi-faceted reports begins with an examination of lighting inventory and lumen demand. It continues with a look at the installed base and the technology improvements in conventional light sources.

The LED-centric content examines the improvements and cost savings expected in SSL over two decades. For instance, the report projects efficacy improvements. In high CRI (76-90) SSL lights, the DOE expects efficacy to go from 64.3 lm/W today to 147.3 lm/W in 2020 and to 176.3 lm/W in 2030.

From a cost perspective, the DOE projects SSL to go from $169.49 per klm today to $5.03 per klm by 2030 for high CRI products. The report makes projections for other CRI ranges and for OLED lighting as well.

The latter portion of the report focuses on projected market penetration and energy savings calculations. The analysis attempts to take a balanced view on the gradual replacement of technologies such as fluorescent with SSL alternatives.

The conclusion as stated up front is certainly impressive. The DOE expects SSL to completely displace all other technologies in commercial, residential, industrial and outdoor segments by 2030. The projected savings, however, come primarily from the replacement of fluorescent and halogen lamps in the commercial sector.

The DOE report claims SSL can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 246 million metric tons of carbon over two decades. The full report is available on the DOE SSL web site.

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