The new industrial revolution, the ‘green economy’, is gaining momentum and is presenting substantial new business opportunities for those economies and enterprises willing to embrace the rapidly expanding global market for green goods and services. This market is already valued at €3.6 trillion and is estimated to grow to €4.5 trillion by 2015.
Both government and the private business sector will need to be partners in creating opportunities and in developing the low carbon green economy. SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) are an essential element of future economic prosperity and should be at the forefront of this new economy. Back in June 2008, in recognition of the crucial role of SMEs for Europe’s competitiveness, the European Commission unveiled the “Small Business Act” driven by the “Think Small First” principle with the objectives to: place SMEs at the forefront of society; facilitate easier access to international markets, finance, skills and innovation; among other objectives to support and foster the development of the SME sector.
There is no escaping from the critical importance of government’s role in facilitating and instigating recovery from the banking crisis to create realistic conditions to free up capital for those SMEs with potential to succeed in developing and marketing low carbon goods and services to this new global market that is set to become massive over the coming years.
No business can afford any longer not to be competitive on cost regardless of it’s market positioning or product/service offering. Energy consumption and reduction of energy cost such as cutting the electricity bill can make a real difference to the bottom line and bolster competitive advantage, or perhaps even more compelling – to prevent or minimise competitive disadvantage.
Lighting is estimated to be accountable for over 20% of worldwide electricity consumption. The lighting sector is therefore an obvious strategic target in pursuit of energy conservation and efficiency. Lighting is attributable to a staggering 50% of the total energy consumed by many commercial facilities, making lighting a significant part of the operating cost of a business.
It is predicted by experts that the widespread deployment of LED (light-emitting diode) lighting technology, also known as SSL (solid state lighting), could reduce energy consumption for lighting purposes by 50% by the year 2025. A cost saving of this magnitude would have a profoundly positive effect on world economies in addition to environmental benefit of the enormous proportional reduction in CO2 emmissions.
Although LED lighting is a relatively new technology, it is proving to be a cost effective green technology and is steadily gaining support from governments around the world and acceptance by society as a sustainable eco-lighting solution. LED technology with respect to performance and manufacturing cost, coupled with related developments in nanoscience, continues to advance and is gaining traction on the assimilation of LED lighting solutions into the general lighting market. The key benefits of LED lighting include: energy efficiency; long life-span; low maintenance; compact & robust design; no mercury content; no UV (ultra-violet) or IR (infra-red) emissions; and among other advantages, the ability to be creative in controlling light in new ways such as tunable colour temperature, directing light in a particular way and digital compatibility to future smart ‘e-lighting’ systems.
“It is inevitable that the lighting technology of the future will be different to what it was in the past. Perhaps, what is somewhat susprising, is the long time it has taken for an urgently needed disruptive green lighting technology to reach the level of required stability and commercialisation to enter the mass market in the critical energy sector of the economy. The abundant evidence on LED/SSL being a primary if not the primary mainstream lighting source of the future is compelling” - Peter English, LEDVISTA