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World’s Biggest Carbon Credit Project: “Bachat Lamp Yojna”

India should be proud to have bagged the world’s largest carbon credit project. The most innovative feature of this project is in bringing down the cost of CFL to Rs. 15.

The size of the project is something that we should be proud of given that it is intended to save more than 40 million tonnes of carbon annually and the second largest project is only about 1.5 million tonnes.

CFL bulb scheme will be world’s biggest carbon credit project

India has bagged the world’s largest carbon credit project that will help replace 400 million incandescent light bulbs with energy saving CFL bulbs at dirt-cheap prices in a year while preventing 40 million tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere annually.

………..”Almost half the households in India will immediately benefit from the scheme and as other areas get electrified, those villages will get added on. There are roughly 400 million light points at present in the country that we will provide the subsidised CFL bulbs for,” said Ajay Mathur, director general of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, which is the nodal agency for the grand project.

………..For every ten bulbs that consumers use for a year, a tonne of carbon is prevented from escaping into the atmosphere as CFL bulbs use substantially less power than incandescent ones. For every tonne of carbon saved, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, acting as the anchor, gets a carbon certificate from the UN, which it then hands over to the investor.

The investor sells the carbon credit in the international market where buyers — such as manufacturers and power producers in Europe — buy the certificates to meet the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets the countries have set for them. At present, each certificate sells at around 10-12 Euros in the international spot market.

BEE estimates that investors will be able to recover the rest of the Rs 85 per bulb by 5-6 years and by the 7th year, earn some on the top. BEE has in its scheme ensured that the CFL bulbs are of a standard that they last that long.

The project is an ambitious project with a well outlined process and the assumptions used for the carbon savings and returns are reasonable with an average use of 3.5 hours/ day.  The challenge for the project is going to be in monitoring the electricity savings in accordance with the monitoring methodology prescribed by the Executive Board of the

However, BEE  the nodal agency for this project seems to have developed smart meters based on GSM technology that are fitted between the socket and the CFL in sample households in each project area. The GSM based meter collects the data on hours of use and energy consumed by the sample CFL and sends this information by SMS to the central server.

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