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Efficient lighting in Madagascar, where do we stand now ?

The rate of access to electricity is about 15% in Madagascar. This rate is among the lowest in Africa.

First of all, the electricity used is still largely (50%) from non-renewable sources: thermal generators running on diesel or heavy fuel oil - and this despite the fact that Madagascar has significant renewable energy potential. This implies not only high operating costs subject to international price fluctuations but also greenhouse gas emissions. This situation contributes to the relatively high cost of electricity when one considers the purchasing power of households.
On the other hand, about 50% of lamps used by households in Madagascar are incandescent lamps (2013).  For a household, the share of lighting in the electricity bill depends on the type of lamp used, the number of lamps used, the duration of daily use and the electricity tariff applied.

The different types of lighting:
There are several types of lighting depending on the different lamps used. The most common are : Incandescent lamps: these are lamps that have existed for over 135 years.  The light is produced by a filament that heats up when crossed by electricity and becomes incandescent. About 90% of the electricity used to light these lamps turns into heat, and is lost. Their average life span is one year.
Compact fluorescent lamps: the mercury vapor they contain is excited by electricity and produces ultraviolet radiation that stimulates a phosphor layer to glow. In general, a compact fluorescent lamp uses up to 80% less electricity than an incandescent lamp to produce the same amount of light. It can last up to 10 years. Due to its mercury content, this type of lamp can pose an environmental risk if not properly recovered.
Light-emitting diodes, LED:
Good quality light emitting diodes can have a lifespan of 10 - 15 years and use 90% less electricity than incandescent lamps.

Let's compare the different types of lamps; here are three lamps that all shine like a 100 W incandescent lamp.

It can be seen that the initial purchase price of an incandescent lamp is ten times lower than that of compact fluorescent lamps. However, after a few months, the cost saving cover the higher initial purchase price of compact fluorescent lamps and LEDs.
In a partnership between the Ministry of Energy, JIRAMA, the Telma Foundation and WWF, 518 000 compact fluorescent lamps were distributed to 120 000 urban households in Madagascar between November 2013 and December 2014. This is an initiative that was supported by the World Bank. It resulted in an estimated savings of nearly 17 billion ariary annually for JIRAMA. Malagasy households have made at least 10% savings on their electricity bills.

Today, where do we stand?
The electricity code that was adopted in 2018, calls for the implementation of energy efficiency measures.  Energy efficiency is among the key measures of the New Energy Policy adopted by the country. However, it must be noted that measures in this direction are overdue.  It is clear that incandescent lamps are inefficient and costly in the long run for households. Even if efficient lighting tends to be democratized in Madagascar, we cannot expect the majority of households to adopt this type of lamp overnight.

Efficient lighting is a solution to preserve the environment. 
It is clear that the benefits of efficient lighting are: energy savings and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. For the consumer, it has been proven to lower the electricity bill and last longer. For the utility, efficient lighting reduces peak energy demand and can limit load shedding when capacity is reduced.
For efficient lighting to be effective in Madagascar, in addition to regulatory measures that can be adopted by the government to facilitate the transition to more efficient lighting, various actions can contribute: 
- Substitute inefficient and non-durable lamps with good quality efficient lamps in the various public buildings and private offices... This will not only reduce their electricity consumption but also save on their operating costs. This can only be done if specific budgets are allocated.
- To inform and change the habits of purchase and consumption of energy towards more sustainable alternatives less energy consuming.