EU lighting proposal would keep Europe in the dark, says Denmark


An EU proposal to freeze a phase-out of energy-guzzling lamps for two years would hurt clean energy firms, dampen the EU’s environmental legislation and threaten future green laws, according to a Danish Energy Agency (DEA) paper, seen by EurActiv.

The document was sent to Brussels in response to the EU's proposal to postpone a 2016 ban on inefficient 'non-directional' halogen lamps in ‘Stage 6’ of the lighting Ecodesign requirements until 2018.

The official Danish paper says: “We cannot support the delay of stage 6 since it would: significantly reduce the effectiveness of the Ecodesign directive, negatively impact the businesses in Europe who have invested and integrated stage 6 into their business strategy [and] lead to uncertainty about other existing and future regulations."

It would also “establish a precedent of rolling back regulation” in response to business lobbying, the Danish experts contended.

Last November, the Commission said that LED technology was not yet mature enough to replace non-directional halogen lamps such as chandeliers, floor lamps, and A&E replacement lamps. But according to the Danish agency’s study, compatible LED replacements are ready for nearly all halogen and comparable applications.

Dimmability is already available for 76% of LED replacement lamps and, by 2016, another 19% of lighting stock with higher luminous flux and size restrictions would also be covered. The remaining 5% of lighting stock was not investigated by the DEA. 

The added energy savings from keeping to the 2016 deadline would amount to 97.2 terrawatt (TWh) hours for the period to 2025, according to figures from the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards program (CLASP).   

This is roughly twice the 43.2 TWh posited by the Commission’s staff working document under the two-year delay, and roughly equivalent to 34 million tonnes of CO2 with a cost of €22.9 billion, according to CLASP.

The issue may arise at a consultation meeting today (12 March) which will consider a draft communication on Europe's lighting strategy, seen by EurActiv. This pledges the EU to "continue to support the market transition towards more efficient lighting solutions” such as LEDs, even as it backtracks from its timetable for implementing a switchover.

“Following the Danish study, the Commission’s case for delay is growing very dim,” Stamatis Sivitos of Coolproducts told EurActiv. “The market is by and large ready, so why delay? Caving in on targets agreed years ago is weak, will derail planned energy savings over the next few years, and will send a poor signal to progressive manufacturers wanting to move on. Our hope is that any updated proposal is a cut above what we’ve seen so far.”



Mike Parr's picture

"It would also “establish a precedent of rolling back regulation” in response to business lobbying,"

raising the question: who has been lobbying to roll back the regulation? & why does it appear that the EC is exhibiting invertebrate tendencies?

David Smith's picture

@Mike Parr: You sound like an anti capitalist troll, ho-hum... Why shouldn't business, or anyone else, not lobby to have bad law and regulation rolled back, the Greens (who you seem to be a paid up member of) have done just that self same when it suits their own agenda.

Mike Parr's picture

why is it a "bad law"? - I guess you are in favour of people wasting energy? - because that is what happens when one uses halogen lamps rather than LEDs.

David Smith's picture

@Mike Parr: You do know that CFL's pose serious health issues don't you, both during use (for some people) and for everyone should old failed units not be deposed of correctly, even worse are units that become damaged in the home. LEDs are not the answer as there are pollution issues in their manufacture and disposal too, as with any electronic component. Oh and halogen light bulbs share many of the inefficiencies of TF bulbs as apart from the gas within the bulb they are very similar items.

Mike Parr's picture

Smith: what you say are straightforward lies - pure & simple.

CFLs do not pose any health issue (serious or otherwise). In any case I was talking about LEDs - a semiconductor - I don't notice you whining on about semiconductor production - of which I know something - unlike you. I guess you are one of the old-school incandescent idiots.

David Smith's picture

@Mike Parr: You are showing utter ignorance, come back when you have some FACTS! You do realise that CFLs contain mercury don't you and that can be released should the glass break (and you also seem unaware of the other health issues Then of course, along with LEDs, there is the electronic control unit on a PCB, so you assume wrongly about my concerns regarding the manufacture of semiconductor! One thought Mr Parr, you wouldn't have any non-disclosed interests in LED light bulb production by any chance, just wondering if that is were you have gained your "knowledge" of semiconductors, never mind your apparent (wilful?) lack of knowledge of the dangers within CFLs?...

Mike Parr's picture

Smith, I see you did not read the whole of the Wiki article - pity - you might have learned something. I have zero connections with the LED industry - stick that in yer pipe & smoke it - prat.

David Smith's picture

@Mike Parr, nice to see you signing off your comment with your real name! :) Quips aside, you seem to be unaware that the UK burns very little coal in power stations whilst it would have been better to have mandated (better) clean-coal filtration than place a high quantity of fragile mercury filled light bulbs in domestic homes, just how many CFLs have ever beed correctly disposed of - even more when industry and commercail buildings were moving away from using fluorescent tube lamps.

Then there is the extra heating, often from the burning of LPG or natural gas, that is needed due to the fact that CFLs and LEDs give out less heat compared to either TF or Halogen light bulbs - it seems to me that it was you who forgot to actually read and, more importantly, understand the REAL WORLD health and environmental issues with so called low energy light bulbs so favoured by the unthinking Greens.

Bob Armstrong's picture

These "lightbulb" laws that enforce what are rational market directions as technology advances are nothing but corrupt excuses for tax ( taken money ) funded worse than useless bureaucracies .

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