Solid-state lighting tops R&D list at the DOE

Of all the building efficiency technologies that the U.S. Dept. of Energy is looking at, solid-state lighting is receiving the most research dollars by far, according to a DOE spokesperson.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff April 16, 2008

At a recent gathering of supporters for Albeo Technologies , a Boulder, Colo.-based solid-state lighting (SSL) manufacturer, Mary Colvin Werner spoke about the emphasis on solid-state lighting at the U.S. Dept. of Energy . Werner is the technology manager for the building technologies program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo.
“Of all the building efficiency technologies the DOE is looking at, solid-state lighting is receiving the most research dollars—by far,” said Werner. She also pointed out that buildings account for 71% of total electricity consumption in the United States, and for commercial buildings, the largest portion of energy consumption is from lighting (25%).
The DOE is pouring 60% of its buildings R&D budget for emerging technologies into SSL. The remaining funding is directed at building envelope (22%), space conditioning and refrigeration (9%), and analysis tools and design strategies (9%).
According to Werner, the DOE’s solid-state lighting research activities represent an essential component of the Department’s strategy for achieving zero energy buildings—buildings that produce as much energy as they use. The development of highly efficient, cost-effective solid-state lighting technologies, along with advanced windows and space heating and cooling technologies, can help reduce total building energy use by 60% to 70%. This improvement in component and system energy efficiency, coupled with on-site renewable energy supply systems, can result in marketable net zero energy buildings.