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Edge of Darkness

BERLIN and SANTA CLARA, California, February 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Germany is facing a unique problem on its streets. An EU directive decreed that from September 2012 onwards no more filament light bulbs could be installed because of the high energy usage; Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs were to be the new norm.

More than 30% of Germany's street-lighting network is more than 40 years old. It is more expensive to replace than maintain (the manufacturing quality is extremely good), and so there is a certain 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' attitude from the municipalities.

But at some point, there will have to be a street light revolution, which is one of the subjects Germany Trade and Invest will be discussing at the Strategies in Light conference in Santa Clara, starting on February 12.

"The German LED market should continue to grow at a very high rate," said Oliver Seiler, Director of Mechanical and Electronic Technology at Germany Trade and Invest.

What will help push the market is Germany's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. The filament light bulbs gobble up a lot of power; lighting accounts for up to 50% of the total energy costs for the average municipality. But with filaments gone and high-pressure mercury lamps on their way out (by April 2015), the investment in LED has to be made - municipalities could save up to EUR 2 billion on energy bills when it is.

"It's a lot of investment, and the municipalities in Germany are responsible for themselves, so several business models are being bandied around to try and find the most cost-effective model," continued Seiler.

"But the bottom line is that the market and the opportunities are there, and have to be taken soon."

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.

Germany Trade & Invest
Andreas Bilfinger
T: +49-(0)30-200099-173
F: +49-(0)30-200099-511

SOURCE Germany Trade & Invest

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