GENEVA, NY-Calculations made by Thomas Drennen, professor of economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, are being used to launch the nation’s latest innovations in energy use for lighting.
This year, Drennen co-authored a paper titled “A Market Diffusion and Energy Impact Model for Solid-State Lighting” with Jeffrey Y. Tsao of E2O Communications Inc. and Roland Haitz of Agilent Technologies. The paper is the basis for a $480 billion bipartisan bill proposed by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) on July 11 during a Congressional hearing on energy. Senate Bill No. 1166 seeks federal funds to establish the Next Generation Lighting Initiative at the Department of Energy.
Solid-state lighting-best known for its application in light emitting diode, or LED, displays such as those on digital clocks-is 10 times more efficient than the technology used for standard light bulbs. According to Drennen’s computations, by 2025, solid-state lighting technology could reduce energy consumption in this country by roughly 17 billion watts of power per year. That’s more energy than all the homes in California, Washington, and Oregon consume in a single day, he says. Reduced consumption would eliminate the need for 17 large electricity generating plants, thereby also reducing pollutants released by those facilities.
“This initiative will reduce our nation’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” says Drennen. “It has implications for our country’s energy policy that are far broader than economic competitiveness with other nations. It is the reduction in energy consumption that makes this a national initiative.”
Other of Drennen’s findings include:
· The lighting industry today consumes 19 percent of the nation’s electrical energy supply.
· Lighting is a $40 billion global industry, and the U.S. occupies roughly one-third of that market.
· In 1998, lighting electricity cost about $47 billion, and accounted for about 100 million tons of carbon-equivalent from fossil energy plants.
Drennen is a noted expert in areas that combine economics and the environment. His work also has been used nationally in discussions on gas prices, global warming, SUVs, nuclear waste, and China’s environmental policies.
More information on Drennen can be found on his expert’s page.