Japan could cut its electricity consumption by ¥1 trillion (US$8.4 billion) over the next five years by using more light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, according to Hiroshi Amano, one of three Japan-born scientists who shared last year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing blue LED technology.
“LEDs, which consume a fifth of the energy used by standard lights, are key to the country’s strategy to make energy use more efficient, even as it pursues alternative sources such as solar power,” Bloomberg reports.
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster led to plant closures that took out 30% of the country’s power supply, “the drive to reduce energy consumption has sparked a national campaign that includes everything from improved insulation for homes, to train stations powered by the braking of subway cars, to vending machines that recycle waste heat and generate power with solar panels on top.”
Since early 2012, Japan has sold 73 million LEDs, representing 30% of total light bulb sales, Watanabe reports. “Switching all of Japan’s lighting to LEDs would save about 92.2 terawatt-hours of electricity, 9% of Japan’s total annual consumption.”