How LED players can participate in govt projects

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The tiny, bright lights that you may have seen, hold immense business potential in India. Although light emitting diode (LED) market is still in its nascent stage in India, it will soon be the next big thing in the lighting industry. Driven partly by the move towards energy efficient lighting solutions, which have been gaining importance, LED lights are poised to replace conventional lighting in many key applications like street lighting, indoor and outdoor lighting, apart from other industrial applications.

By Srabani Sen

Monday, September 05, 2011: A number of projects to promote the LED industry in India have been spearheaded by the government, government bodies like Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and NGOs. LED manufacturers, distributors and dealers can take advantage of these projects as they hold immense business potential. The good sources for information about these projects are BEE, NGOs that are working in the field of energy efficiency like The Climate Group (TCG), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the LED products Manufacturers’ Association (LEDMA).

One such ongoing project is in Kolkata, spearheaded by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and TCG. TCG’s work with LEDs is part of the LightSavers programme supported by the HSBC Climate Partnership (HCP) programme. This LED street lighting pilot programme in Kolkata involves installing 274 LED lights across the city.

The project has helped KMC to understand practical ways to make substantial cuts in urban emissions and enable it to cut down on energy related costs from street lighting.

According to Arnab Roy, Municipal Commissioner, KMC, Kolkata has 1,80,000 streetlights, so the potential to scale up this clean technology in the city is considerable. LED streetlight installations began in Kolkata in October 2010 with a first tranche of 20 Philips Lumec RoadStar LED streetlights.

Kolkata is not the only city looking to try out LED technology. Thane, in Maharashtra, is also poised to become the site for the next round of pilot tests in the country. This is good news for LED players who deal with streetlights, as with more and more such projects in different cities, demand for LED streetlights will increase immensely in the coming years.

How LED players can participate in these projects

Commenting on how LED manufacturers, suppliers and integrators can participate in these projects, Prodyut Mukherjee, programme manager, technology, TCG, informs, “For projects undertaken by government agencies like municipal corporations, tenders are floated and different parties bid for them. The ‘best’ bid, taking into account technical and financial parameters, is selected. For example, in the case of the KMC project, Philips emerged as the selected bidder. The key in this process is the technical specifications that are laid out in the tender document, which bidders need to meet for qualification.”

Aditi Dass, programme manager, cities and regions, TCG, further explains that streetlights come under the purview of city corporations, municipalities or development authorities (wherever they have been set up). LED players can get in touch with these bodies for detailed project information. Contracts would be given by the corporations or any other implementing agency for such projects. The nature of contracts may vary from organisation to organisation.

“Probably, the only way to get new technologies successfully into the mainstream is to develop markets for them. Pilot projects like these contribute substantially in developing markets, by increasing awareness and educating customers (in this case corporations), testing the technology at the field, etc,” says Prodyut Mukherjee.

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