en.Lighten Initiative Installs Solar LED Streetlights in Nairobi

5 July 2012: The en.lighten initiative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) has installed eight solar LED street lights along UN Avenue in Nairobi, Kenya. Undertaken in partnership with Phillips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority, the pilot initiative aims to highlight the benefits of sustainable energy sources and alternatives to expensive, less efficient traditional lighting.

According to UNEP, Philips has recently developed possibly the most reliable, efficient and cost effective solar powered road lighting solution per km of road available. UNEP underscores that the innovation has the potential to transform urban and rural life in areas without electricity access, making them safer and more productive.

The breakthrough is due to new “High Brightness LEDs” that ensure that the maximum amount of power is transferred from the solar panels to the batteries. An additional benefit is that the cost and size of the batteries and solar panels can be reduced by up to 50%.

en.lighten is a public-private partnership funded by the GEF, in partnership with UNEP, leading global lighting manufacturers (Philips and OSRAM), and the National Lighting Test Centre (NLTC), to accelerate market transformation of efficient lighting technologies on a global scale. [UNEP Press Release]