Incandescent Lamp Ban Could Increase Iceland’s Carbon Footprint

Halldor Steinsen was awarded his MSc at KTH Stockholm for research into the impacts of CFLi in the Icelandic market. His thesis makes interesting but disturbing reading Below is an extract from his conclusion:

Using the constructed base case, it has been shown that a switch to CFL is beneficial for Icelandic household economically. However, the benefit is much less than the public is led to believe in advertising by manufacturers. As shown in table 1, the break even point is somewhere between the 5th and 6th year. After 20 years, the savings amount to 9,7 Euros per year, for each household in Iceland.

It can therefore be concluded that Icelandic consumers are being misinformed about the true economic benefits of switching to CFL.

As mentioned earlier, the EU preparatory report by VITO, found the biggest environmental impact of lamps to be during their use phase. Their calculations assume the EU27 average for electricity generation, which is 31% from coal, 22% from oil and gas and 47% from renewable sources, of which 32% comes from nuclear power plants. Iceland obtains nearly 100% of its electricity and heat from renewable sources. The use phase therefore does not contribute to global warming. As has been shown, using parts of the EcoReport tool, adoption of regulation 244/2009 with universal household adoption of CFL in Iceland, results in more environmental costs both in Iceland and internationally.

This goes against the spirit and intention of EU regulation 244/2009. In light of these results it is logical to ask further. If nothing else changes, at what point is the electricity generation ratio of a country such that switching to CFL causes more environmental damage than good ?

Read the complete article on the PLDA Greenpages…

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