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High-efficiency lighting offers both a large impact (5.1 Mt CO2e in 2030) and relatively straightforward and feasible implementation.



This seed proposal is based on -- and is meant to reflect -- Ethiopia's Climate-Resilient Green Economy - Green economy strategy and was prepared by a member of the Climate CoLab staff. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating new proposals of their own. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has not reviewed nor endorsed this proposal.

"Reducing electricity demand through efficient lighting in the urban residential and commercial sectors would free up power supply capacity and enable the export of more electricity to neighbouring countries, where Ethiopia’s renewable electricity would displace electricity generated from fossil fuels. This initiative has an abatement potential of approximately 5.1 Mt CO2e, and is the largest abatement lever in the [Climate-Resilient Green Economy - Green economy strategy's] Green Cities and Buildings sector. Because the emissions reduction takes place through increased power exports, the abatement potential from this initiative is accounted for primarily by the Electric Power STC." (p. 95)

What actions do you propose?


"Improvements in light bulb technology have greatly increased the efficiency of bulbs while simultaneously lowering the lifetime costs of bulbs. As many countries are already doing, it is now possible to completely transition from incandescent bulbs to compact florescent lights (CFLs) in the residential sector, and from a mix of low-efficiency bulbs (e.g., incandescent, conventional florescent) to higherefficiency bulbs (e.g., light-emitting diodes (LEDs), high-efficiency fluorescents) in commercial and institutional buildings. This initiative builds on the existing activities related to the promotion of high-efficiency light bulbs (e.g., EEPCo’s bulb exchange campaign). Although the Green Cities and Buildings STC has only included urban areas in its analysis, this initiative could be expanded to rural areas.

By switching to higher-efficiency bulbs, buildings could achieve the same level of lighting while greatly reducing electricity consumption. The abatement potential of this initiative in 2030 was calculated to be approximately 5.1 Mt CO2e. These abatement potential calculations are based on the following data and assumptions:

  • Demand for lighting. The STC estimates annual electricity consumption for lighting in 2030 of 8.3 TWh in residential buildings and 2.0 TWh in commercial/ institutional buildings. The STC estimates an average of 1.5 bulbs per room, and an average bulb use of 3.5 hours per 24 hours based on UNFCCC benchmarks.
  • Lighting efficiency. Based on international lighting benchmarks, the STC estimates an efficiency improvement of 77% by switching from incandescent bulbs to compact florescent lights (CFL), and an efficiency improvement of 60% by switching from the current inefficient mix of bulbs in commercial/ institutional buildings to high-efficiency bulbs (e.g., LED, high-efficiency fluorescents). These efficiency improvements would result in annual electricity savings of 6.4 TWh in the residential sector and 0.9 TWh in the commercial/ institutional sector by 2030." (p.96)



"The STC proposes a programme start date of 2012, building on EEPCo’s ongoing promotion of efficient light bulbs. The STC assumed 100% CFL usage in the residential sector by 2030, and 75% efficient light technology adoption in the commercial/institutional sector by 2030, although a more rapid transition could be possible with appropriate policy support (e.g., with banning sales of conventional bulbs)." (p. 96)


"The efficient lighting initiative offers both a large impact (5.1 Mt CO2e in 2030) and relatively straightforward and feasible implementation. The technology for this lever (efficient bulbs) already exists and is in use in Ethiopia, the cost of efficient bulbs continues to fall, and the steps needed for implementation (e.g., regulation of bulb imports to prohibit inefficient bulbs) are relatively easy to enact. ... With all of this in mind, the STC recommends prioritisation of this highly attractive initiative." (p.98)

Who will take these actions?

Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, and others.

Where will these actions be taken?

This area of focus only included urban areas, however the Strategy indicates that the initiatives could apply to rural areas as well.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

The Strategy states that "the abatement potential of this initiative in 2030 was calculated to be approximately 5.1 Mt CO2e." (p.96)

What are other key benefits?

The Strategy states that "[b]y exporting more power to neighbouring countries, electricity generated from fossil fuels would be displaced by Ethiopia’s renewable energy. The STC used an estimate of 0.7 kg CO2e/KWh exported, based on the Electric Power STC’s estimates of the carbon intensity of energy produced in neighbouring countries." (p. 96-97)

"Furthermore, this initiative has significant financial benefits to consumers (building owners, tenants, and households), since most types of efficient bulbs have a lower total cost of use than inefficient bulbs, i.e., the higher purchase price of efficient bulbs is more than outweighed by their lower operating cost (lower electricity consumption) and longer lifespan." (p.98)

What are the proposal’s costs?

The Strategy does not specify the costs of this lever, it does state that "consultations have indicated [that it] will be an attractive investment" (p.100).

Time line

The Strategy states that "[t]he Green Cities and Buildings STC has selected high-efficient lighting as a priority initiative based on the large abatement potential and the positive outcome of the feasibility assessment. This initiative will receive particular attention and, building on EEPCo’s ongoing promotion of efficient light bulbs, the STC has determined a programme start date within 2012 (Figure 34)."

FIGURE 34 Green cities – Overview of timeline for implementation of initiatives

Related proposals


  • The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia's Climate-Resilient Green Economy - Green economy strategy:'s%20Vision%20for%20a%20Climate%20Resilient%20Green%20Economy.pdf