Technological Learning in the Energy Sector

Technological Learning in the Energy Sector

Lessons for Policy, Industry and Science

Edited by Martin Junginger, Wilfried van Sark and André Faaij

Technological learning is a key driver behind the improvement of energy technologies and subsequent reduction of production costs. Understanding how and why production costs for energy technologies decline, and whether they will continue to do so in the future, is of crucial importance for policy makers, industrial stakeholders and scientists alike. This timely and informative book therefore provides a comprehensive review of technological development and cost reductions for renewable energy, clean fossil fuel and energy-efficient demand-side technologies.

Chapter 16: Lighting Technologies

Martin Weiss, Philippine de T’Serclaes and Willy Taelman

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, environment, energy policy and regulation, innovation and technology, technology and ict


Martin Weiss, Philippine de T’Serclaes and Willy Taelman1 16.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter investigates technological learning of lighting technologies and components thereof. It identifies different technologies, their evolution, and the reasons for their decline or success. We define lighting as the deliberate application of natural and artificial light sources to achieve aesthetic or practical effects, both indoors and outdoors. Artificial light is provided by so-called lighting technologies that comprise a large group of devices that convert energy (in modern times predominantly electricity) into light, that is, electro-magnetic radiation in the spectrum of around 400–700 nm (nanometer). Modern lighting technologies include, for example, electric incandescent light bulbs, halogen light bulbs, linear and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Modern lighting technologies consume 9 per cent of global total primary energy supply, 19 per cent of global electricity and are thereby responsible for 8 per cent of global fossil fuel use emissions (IEA, 2006b). Philips is the international market leader in lighting technology with annual worldwide sales of €4.5 billion in 2004 followed by Osram (€4.2 billion) and General Electric (€2 billion). The largest producer of lighting equipment in the world (in monetary terms) is the EU, with annual revenues of €12 billion; China is the largest producer in physical terms, generating revenues of €9 billion (IEA, 2006d). The majority of lighting technologies offered to customers to date are mature products, which have been sold on the market for many decades. The first commercial incandescent light bulb was introduced...

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