Eric Heutinck, general manager, MAGHREB and West Africa, Royal Philips Electronics is a consummate salesman. Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Heutinck in this interview said that ‘‘Quality LEDs offer part solutions to some of the key issues we face today, including energy crisis, climate change, resource scarcity, safety in our cities and an enhanced sense of health and wellbeing. He spoke to peter ugwu.
An overview of Philips Cairo to Cape Town Road Show
Philips’ Cairo to Cape Town road show, with a stop over in Lagos, was focused on efficient energy solution and as at today we have the most reliable and cost-effective solar LED lighting solution for outdoor lighting purposes.
Royal Philips Electronics is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation.
As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity.
Philosophy behind Solar LED Project
Apparently, LED lighting can deliver very high energy efficiency, long life, and excellent quality of light, design flexibility, controllability and colour – all of which are essential to creating solutions which will improve lighting.
In fact, Philips’ prediction is that by 2020 about 75 per cent of the global lighting market (value) will be LED based, a figure derived from both current sales data and we think about around future trends.
But this still leaves a huge installed base of much older less efficient lighting solutions which are a considerable and unnecessary drain on our resources.
The facts and figures supporting a rapid switch to LED lighting are that lighting currently consumes an average of 19 per cent of global electricity production and the great majority of this current lighting is based on older less efficient technologies developed before 1970.
A full switch to the latest LED lighting would provide very significant energy savings of up to 80% in many applications and an average of 40 per cent for all lighting.
For Africa this equates to approx $10 billion per annum in running costs, or 50 million tonnes of carbon or the equivalent output of 35 medium sized power plants.
In most cases it is a simple switch to make and it should also be noted that more than three quarters of all lighting is in the commercial and industrial world rather than the home.
Interestingly, many global initiatives are currently being taken by companies, governments and NGO’s to speed up the rate of switch.
The rate of adoption will also depend on other factors such as further cost price reductions, the speed of investment and basically how persuasive , the quality end of the lighting industry is in creating awareness and getting the world to switch.
Why Focus on Africa
Philips has global presence, however Philips market intelligence shows that out of 1.6 billion people that lack access to electricity worldwide, 600 million of them are in Africa. The continent with population density of about 1.2 billion is piqued by such uneven access to electricity following debility posed in electricity generation, distribution and transmission.
The results come from a global research study undertaken by Philips into the effects of a switch to more energy efficient LED lighting and are based on Philips internal market figures.
Managing Large Market
It is important to note that we have reached a tipping point in the development of high quality light emitting diodes (LEDs) where this exciting new technology can now be used for general lighting in almost all applications.
Quality LEDs offer part solutions to some of the key issues and opportunities we face today – the energy crisis, climate change, resource scarcity, safety in our cities, productivity in our offices, and an enhanced sense of health and well being to name but a few.
So, the first step we have mapped out is the road show, which will afford the people ample opportunity to get first hand information across to Nigerians on the product. In essence, the road show is our awareness campaign.
Secondly, we will constitute pilot projects in Nigeria and solidify our contact with the government to see outline benefits inherent in the solution and take up demands.
What Spurred the Project?
Well, what is on the mind of Philips is to improve peoples’ lives.
If you take a look, in Nigeria there are a lot of people without electricity, and even others that have access to electricity don’t enjoy it to the fullness, probably due to increasing costs and power cuts, so what Nigerians will need is a cost-effective and efficient electric supply solution.
With our new solution, people can save up to eight per cent lighting. Same time, if there is no electricity grid; it takes a lot of money and time to do that. But in this solution you don’t need the grid.
Impact on Peoples Lives
It is very incredible how it will improve peoples’ lives because one can imagine how the communities go dark as from 7pm, but with a project like this, children can play longer and even study, meetings can hold, while businesses continue.
It will also help municipal authorities create more livable urban environments by applying new, future-proof LED lighting solutions to enhance city lives.
Well, it is Philips’ product and by implications it fulfilled all the European and African regulations. First of all, it is a low voltage system, so no risk.
And the LED aspect shows it has low power consumption mechanism.
The solar powered solution does not require any grid to function. That is new Solar Gen2 offers a highly energy-efficient LED solution which is superior to any conventional lighting and allows for a lamp post spacing of up to 50 meters, much wider than with other solutions, while at the same time complying with stringent EU road lighting standards (ME3).
By charging street lighting during the day, Solar Gen2 can also supplement the capacity of the conventional electricity grid. The Gen2 Philips solution also has an entry level range of good value with low medium and high lumen packages ranging from 1500lm to 6000lm.
And the construction is done in such a way that the charging and discharging of the battery happens in a smart way so as to maximize battery life and it can dim the light levels when required based on a self learning intelligence and a history log.
If you are considering building a system like this, you will need engineers. For instance, an estate may decide to go for this, you will also need engineers’ capacity to achieve the plan and by that employment is being made available to the people.
And in consideration of the need to have a local assemble in Nigeria, we will still need people to work with.
I think the biggest challenge for the government currently is to give everybody power supply.
And there is such a big demand for power supply that is why you have power cuts. So, there will be no complication.
Also the government will be happy to see a platform to reduce the level of power consumption, because it will give room for further projects. And we are currently running a promotion as means to reach out to the people.