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Berkeley Lab Leads Off-Grid Lighting Community

Linda Hardesty

Energy ManageEvan Mills, founder of the Lumina Project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has created LuminaNET, a social network for the global off-grid lighting community.

Mills started the Lumina Project at Berkeley Lab in 1994 to cultivate technologies and markets for affordable low-carbon alternatives to fuel-based lighting in the developing world, according to a Berkeley Lab blog. In the 20 years since, Lumina’s contributions to the off-grid lighting world include:

-Ground-breaking research including a 2005 article in Science journal that presented the first-ever estimate of global energy expenditures for fuel-based lighting; a study that developed the first quality assurance test protocols for these products.

-Technical assistance to the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (2006) in evaluating the potential for off-grid lighting innovation in the African marketplace, resulting in a multi-million-dollar ongoing Lighting Global initiative.

-Field work including demonstrations of LED lighting to replace kerosene and diesel lighting.

-Development of a novel methodology for greenhouse-gas savings accounting that has been formally adopted by the carbon trading system under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism.

Mills said LuminaNET was conceived as a way to involve more stakeholders with the Lumina Project and to further the technology transfer mission of his project. Mills is also using LuminaNET as a vehicle for pooling primary data on 80 draft country lighting assessments in support of a United Nations Environment Programm modeling effort that quantifies the magnitude of fuel-based off-grid lighting around the world.



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