Energy Savings Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications

A comprehensive U.S. Department of Energy report predicting the market penetration of light-emitting diode (LED) white-light sources from 2010 to 2030, Energy Savings Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications predicts that growing reliance on LEDs will conserve 2,700 terawatt-hours (2.7 trillion kilowatt-hours) of energy use over the 20-year period, saving owners about $250 billion at today’s energy prices while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 1.8 billion tons of carbon, assuming today’s power-plant generating mix stays in place.

The report predicts that, compared to conventional incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and high-intensity-discharge white-light sources, the rate of LED market penetration will increase steadily, rising to 36% of general-illumination lumen-hour sales in 2020, and to 74% percent by 2030. “In 2030,” the report states, “the annual energy savings due to the increased market penetration of LED lighting is estimated to be approximately 300 terawatt-hours, or the equivalent annual electrical output of about fifty 1,000-megawatt power plants. At today’s energy prices, that would equate to approximately $30 billion in energy savings in 2030 alone. Assuming the current mix of generating power stations, these energy savings would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 210 million metric tons of carbon. The total electricity consumption for lighting would decrease by roughly 46 percent relative to a scenario with no additional penetration of LED lighting in the market – enough electricity to completely power nearly 24 million homes in the U.S. today.”

The study focused on the four principal sectors of the U.S. lighting market – residential, commercial, industrial, and outdoor stationary – where an array of lighting products competes for market share. The energy savings to be generated by steadily greater reliance on LEDs was established through comparison with a baseline model that assumed no additional market penetration of LEDs.

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