Government to invest NT$2.8 billion in LED streetlights

The China Post news staff–The central government has decided to invest NT$2.8 billion within three years in replacing the existing 326,000 mercury streetlights with LED (light emitting diode) lights, which is estimated to generate NT$4.5 billion production value for the LED lighting industry and save power consumption by 143 million kilowatt-hours per year, according to the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Ou Chia-jui, director general of the Bureau of Energy, said the investment is part of the government’s efforts to promote energy conservation, carbon abatement and industrial development.

Ou said that the installation of 326,000 LED streetlights will help to reduce 87,500 metric tons of CO2 emission per year, equivalent to the carbon-absorption amount of 255 Daan forest parks in Taipei.

Ou continued that besides power conservation and long product life, LEDs have the highest illumination efficiency, while mercury lights have the lowest.

The LED streetlight installation project, mapped out by the Bureau of Energy, comprises three sub-projects. Under the first sub-project, the state-run Taiwan Power Company will offer NT$588 million to subsidize Keelung City, Hsinchu City, and Chiayi City for the replacement of 53,000 mercury streetlights with LEDs, with the replacement job slated to be completed by the end of 2014.

Under the second and third subprojects, a total of 273,000 LED streetlights will be installed to replace mercury ones at a total cost of NT$2.18 billion, including 23,000 LED streetlights in remote areas and offshore islands, as well as 250,000 ones in five municipalities and 11 local counties and cities. Public bidding for the 273,000 LED streetlight project will be completed by the end of this year, so that the installation can be finished in mid-2013, according to the Bureau of Energy.

The batch of 326,000 LED streetlights will account for less than 20% of Taiwan’s total streetlights numbering 1.57 million.

Shen Shih-hung, director general of the Environmental Protection Administration, proposed to have state-owned Taiwan Power Company subsidize the replacement of all the existing streetlights with LED streetlights. Ou Chia-jui, director general of the Bureau of Energy, however, stated that prices of LED lighting will decline along with technological progress, and therefore the replacement can be carried out step by step.

In related news, the Taipei City Government has planned to replace 20,000 mercury streetlights with LED lights in 2012, and will apply to the Bureau of Energy by the end of July for a subsidy of NT$152 million for the installation of 17,800 LED streetlights, according to Public Works Department of the city government.