How to scale up low carbon LED lighting in Brazil’s cities: Policymakers workshop in Sao Paulo

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17 September 2014

SAO PAULO: The Climate Group - with the support of consulting company Orbiz - convened key Brazilian stakeholders at a workshop in São Paulo last week, the third in a series which aims to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient LED street lighting around the world.

Gathering the most relevant stakeholders working on LED lighting in São Paulo State, including six municipalities, national and international institutions, the event focused on identifying the main local barriers to LED adoption in public lighting. It also aimed to set the ground for more energy efficient projects around public lighting on Brazilian streets, especially the acceleration of LEDs.

The event began with a presentation about The Climate Group’s work by Dr. Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnerships, and was shortly followed by a speech from Oswaldo Lucon, Technical Advisor at São Paulo State Secretariat for Environment, a States & Regions member of The Climate Group.

Dr. Peter Curley, specialist on LEDs from The Climate Group, then presented in detail the global LED Consultation program, its core goals and findings to date. This was followed by Aline Barabinot, Director at Orbiz, The Climate Group’s local partner in the Brazilian LED consultation, who identified and presented existing local barriers and challenges for LED adoption on public lighting in Brazil.

There were representatives from six Brazilian cities including Sao Paulo and the state of Rio de Janiero, which all have current plans or projects on public lighting. Together, these projects would cover 750,000 street lamps - with São Paulo city alone replacing 500,000 lamps.

While the decision has not yet been made on whether all these projects will implement LED lights, all participants agreed this workshop was an ideal opportunity to help clarify remaining misunderstandings and to better understand the benefits of LEDs and related energy efficient technologies.

A series of key Brazilian LED case studies were also presented, including a new lighting system at the University of São Paulo campus, which recently installed more than 7,000 LED lamps. There was also an update on the use of LEDs in tunnels in São Paulo city, by AES Eletropaulo, an energy concessionaire.

Three key issues raised during the workshop were specific to Brazil:

  • the current ongoing process of transference of public lighting assets from the state to local municipalities;
  • the business model and finance options and issues; and
  • the need for national standards for LED lamps and luminaires to be released.

Importantly, Alexandre Paes Leme of INMETRO - the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology - announced the drafting of national standards of LED lamps and luminaires has now concluded, and shared a preview with attendees. The participants were asked to review the standards and to provide comments and feedback. The standards will be officially launched to the general public in the coming days.

"The announcement of the draft release of the national LED standards by INMETRO is an extremely welcome development," underlined Ben Ferrari. "This will allow cities now responsible for street lighting assets to confidently review future LED lighting options within the national standards framework".   

The workshop then moved into the first interactive working group, which was focused on technical issues around LED technology. Following a technology overview, the session provided an opportunity to discuss specific aspects such as light quality, potential energy savings, Centralized Management Systems (CMS), options for dimming and trimming LEDs, links to smart city concepts, and the associated socio-economic benefits that enhanced lighting can provide.

The second working group focused on business models and finance for LED street lighting projects in Brazil. The forum provided the gathered cities with an overview of the possible arrangements for LED project implementation, including the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model presented by Marco Aurélio de Barcelos from SP Negócios, a company responsible for the implementation of PPPs in the city of São Paulo.

Megan Mayer and Luiz Maurer of The World Bank presented finance models and summarized the findings of pre-feasibility studies on the use of LED in public lighting in two important Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro State) and Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais State). The World Bank is currently exploring a range of finance models that could help support cities, in particular through pooling the investment needs of various cities, globally, to adopt LED lighting.

The workshop concluded with a summary by Dr Ben Ferrari, offering the participants an opportunity to request further information around specific issues of LEDs, and to be part of the broader international LED consultation. He explained that The Climate Group will seek to support cities who may be facing similar technical or financial challenges, and help provide information, and where possible, link them with peers elsewhere which are able to provide solutions and insights.

On this pages, a follow-up from the workshop will be available soon - including a report about main topics discussed and next steps to be driven by The Climate Group in Brazil.

Read more about our goal to bring LED lamps and smart controls to scale globally.

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