Launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on January 5, 2015, the Government of India’s zero subsidy UnnatJyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) marks their sixth anniversary yesterday.
Both the programmes are being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, Government of India since their inception. Under UJALA, EESL has distributed over 36.69 crore LED bulbs across India. This has resulted in estimated energy savings of 47.65 billion kWh per year with avoided peak demand of 9,540 MW and estimated GHG emission reduction of 38.59 million tonnes CO2 per year. Additionally, over 72 lakh LED tube lights and over 23 lakh energy efficient fans have also been distributed at affordable price under this programme.
With SLNP, EESL has installed about 1.14 crore LED streetlights across India. This has resulted in an estimated energy savings of 7.67 billion kWh per year with avoided peak demand of 1,280 MW and estimated GHG emission reduction of 5.29 million tonnes CO2 per year. Moreover, there have been an estimated annual monetary savings of INR 5,210 crore in electricity bills of municipalities.
Commenting on the milestone, Shri R K Singh, Power Minister, Government of India said “Both UJALA and Street Lighting National Programme have been at the heart of large scale socio-economic transformation. They have not only reduced emissions and enabled sustainable development, but have revamped household and public lighting systems, across the country. I congratulate EESL for successfully anchoring these programmes and completing six years of transforming the Indian power sector.”
Shri Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairperson, EESL stated, “When we first began our UJALA and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), we had envisioned a cleaner, greener and brighter India. Today, as both our flagships initiatives complete their six years of excellence, I can say that we have met and surpassed our original objectives. However, much still needs to be done, and I firmly believe that these two initiatives will be transforming illumination and energy efficiency, for years to come.”
Adding on to that, Shri RajatSud, Managing Director, EESL, said, “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of climate change is more real than ever before. At EESL, we understand that energy efficiency is a powerful tool to mitigate environmental challenges of the future, while at the same time make a positive impact on the economy. I congratulate all the State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, stakeholders and EESL’s young team for their continued efforts towards achieving the country’s energy efficiency goals. Together, we will continue the hard work and take forward EESL’s legacy of keeping India on track of achieving its ambitious energy efficient goals, even in a post-pandemic world.”
With the concerted efforts towards building a robust ecosystem for LED lighting in India, these programmes have bagged global awards like the prestigious South Asia Procurement Innovation Award (SAPIA) 2017, and for the innovative use of IT and business results achieved in Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), it won CIO 100 award in 2019. The highly successful UJALA and SLNP have also bagged the Global Solid State Lighting (SSL) award of excellence for the transformational contribution to the LED sector, Award for High Impact Program for Energy Efficiency – CII National Award for Excellence in Energy Management 2020 and award of excellence at the 10thElets knowledge exchange summit and awards 2020.
UJALA brought a market transformation in energy efficiency sector. The switch from inefficient incandescent bulbs to LEDs is helping families reduce their electricity bills while also enabling them to access better brightness in homes. The money saved adds to a household’s disposable income and lifetime savings, thus improving their quality of life, generating prosperity in local communities, and in expanding energy access to all. With the average household electricity bills down by 15 per cent, the annual energy saving is equivalent to a week’s average earning. The domestic LED market has grown significantly beyond the UJALA programme, with the industry selling over 1.15 billion LEDs, far exceeding the UJALA programme’s target of 700 million LED units.
Going forward, EESL has an ambitious plan in the SLNP portfolio for next 4-5 years where it intends to bring investment to the tune of INR 8,000 crores by 2024 by covering entire rural India. It is expected that more than 30 million LED streetlights would be retrofitted/installed by EESL.