A Department of Energy report on light emitting diode (LED) technology has some pretty startling numbers to digest. First, 7% of America's electricity is used to light our homes and businesses. That number is down significantly in the last few years because of the adoption of efficient lighting. But there is still a great deal of ground to be gained. Indeed, as bright white LEDs begin to make their way to the market, the DOE expects their adoption to result in huge decreases in energy use.
The cumulative savings of widespread adoption of this technology over the next 20 years would be about 1.500 terawatt-hours the price of which, at today's energy prices, is around $120 billion. The savings would eliminate the need for 24 new large power plants, to say nothing of the decrease in carbon emissions.
The DOE has a host of programs to spur growth in the LED market, including a X-Prize style contest, R&D projects and market-baed projects. Of course, we have to do our part too. New technology relies on EcoGeeks to be the early adopters of LED technology. I've already got a few lighting up my house.