Final electricity consumption grew across the EU-27 at an average annual rate of 1.7 % between 1990 and 2005 showing an absolute increase of 28.7 %. The average electricity use per capita in the EU-27 is almost 2.5 times the global average and 3.5 times that for China. These are some of the facts that set a big question mark on how the CO2 emission goals can ever been achieved for 2020 even if we are talking about a reduction of 20%. Therefore, when we, on one hand, know that 20% of the world electricity consumption is due to illumination and on the other hand, that 1.6 billion people do not have access to this service yet, it is obvious that this is a very important sector to target. Most of the electricity consumption due to illumination is today mainly produced by fossil fuels. Therefore beside CO2 emissions, the shortage of resources will press the development of new technologies that can cope with this challenge in the future. Furthermore, even with the emergence of energy saving devices, the global ecological footprint is still rising. In this article, we discuss the main challenges that the emerging illumination technologies will have to deal with, if we really aim to achieve more sustainable solutions to climate change in this sector.
Proceeding - Joint Actions on Climate Change [online], 2009