Shining Light on DOE Program

Shining Light on DOE Program

This piece was originally published in the May 2018 issue of electroindustry.

 

Visiting Capitol Hill were (from the left) Joseph Eaves, NEMA; Mark Taylor, Corning; David Woodward, Philips; Tanya Hernandez, Acuity Brands; and Michele Ricks, EMD Group. Photo by an anonymous bystander.

Joseph Eaves, Director, Government Relations, NEMA

Members of the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA) and the OLED Coalition met in March with new political staffs at the Department of Energy (DOE) and several offices in Congress. Their goal was to press upon elected officials the benefits of continuing the Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Program at DOE.

Over the last several years, the two groups have been responsible for spearheading the grassroots effort to maintain the current funding level of $25 million for the program. Although the funding at this level for FY18 was agreed to earlier in March, the lighting groups focused on funding levels for FY19, which should be finalized during the summer of 2018.

The SSL program drives research and development of innovative LED and OLED technologies. It has resulted in reduced costs, rapid improvements in technology (260 patents), and increased U.S. market availability (220 products impacted). Even with its success, there is still potential energy savings to be gained by reducing energy consumption from lighting by 75 percent by 2035, lowering U.S. electricity bills by $50 billion annually. Solving existing technical problems will continue bringing down costs for both consumers and manufacturers, all of which will increase further private sector investments in the U.S.

In 2016 alone, energy savings from LED lighting installations amounted to 469 trillion Btu, equivalent to an annual cost savings of about $4.7 billion. While this already represents a remark­able return on a total DOE investment of about $400 million (since 2007), far bigger savings are on the horizon with connected lighting.

NEMA supports the groups by providing government relations and operational management to meet their policy and technical goals for the program. NGLIA represents for-profit U.S. corporations and formed to accelerate SSL development and commercialization through government–industry partnership. Membership is open to any private, for-profit firm substantially active in SSL research, development, infrastructure, and manufacturing in the United States. Members include Acuity Brands; Corning, Inc.; Cree, Inc.; EYE Lighting; GE Lighting; Lumileds; OSRAM; Philips Lighting; and Universal Display Corp.

The OLED Coalition is a group of U.S. companies and advocates of OLED technology. It is the recognized voice for the OLED general lighting industry in the United States. Members include 3M; Acuity Brands; Corning, Inc.; EMD Performance Materials Corp.; Kaneka; Kateeva; Kurt Lesker; OLED Association; OLEDWorks; OSRAM; PPG; and UDC.

To learn more about this effort, contact Joseph Eaves at joseph.eaves@nema.org or 703-841-3221.


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