Ukraine to replace 50 mn incandescent bulbs with LEDs amid energy woes

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Starting from 1 Jamuary, Ukrainians will be able to exchange up to 5 incandescent lightbulbs for the LED variety.

The program envisions swapping 50 million lamps is planned in the program, which will be carried out through Ukraine’s state postal operator Ukrposhta and digital platform Diia.

According to Economy Minister Yulia Svyridenko, replacing 50 million such lamps can save Ukraine up to 1.5 GW of electricity during peak hours, which equals the work of an entire nuclear power plant reactor.

The purchase of 30 million such lamps will be financed by the European Commission.

This measure is being undertaken in response to a deficit in Ukraine’s power grid caused by Russian missile strikes on electricity infrastructure which are estimated to affect roughly 50% of all energy facilities. Rolling blackouts are the new norm in all regions of Ukraine, with some locations having only a few hours of power a day.

According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaking during an international conference in Paris on 13 December, this deficit equals roughly 2.5 GW. At this conference, he presented a six-point plan to help Ukraine get through the winter. A mass replacement of incandescent bulbs was one of them.

This move was long overdue. Decades of cheap, subsidized energy prices have prevented Ukrainians from investing in energy efficiency, making Ukraine one of the least energy efficient countries in Europe.

Ukraine still has some 65 million incandescent 60 W bulbs, according to estimates of energy expert Oleh Popenko.

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