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[GreenYes] More on the future of lighting

A few weeks back, this list had a discussion on compact fluorescent
lighting and ways to deal with disposal. Related to the general issue
of the future of lighting, there is a good article from yesterday's

Items I found of interest in the article included the focus on lighting
options well beyond CFLs (supporting the idea that we shouldn't
differentially subsidize managing the Hg problems with this technology)
and the idea that even incandescents can (supposedly) be made much more
efficient then they are now.

A number of people on the original thread advocated levying a tax on
incandescent bulbs to underwrite the proper disposal of CFLs. I've been
swayed that perhaps some form of tax on incandescent bulbs might be
appropriate. However, rather than a flat product tax, I'd structure
them more along the lines of a "feebate" approach that the Rocky
Mountain Institute advocated a few decades ago.

A feebate would set a tax on all bulbs based on the kWh per lumen of
light output. Thus, fees would be higher on less efficient lighting.
The funds would be pooled not to finance CFL disposal (the CFL industry
itself should pay for this), but to provide unit-sale rebates on the
purchase of the more efficient (but also more expensive) lighting

This approach would retain not underwrite the problems of any one
lighting technology, rather maintaining competition amongst all of them
based on efficiency. Importantly, however, feebates would accelerate
the development and market uptake of more efficient lighting

-Doug Koplow

Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tel: 617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

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