BBC News: Governments should tax plasma screen televisions because of the large amount of energy they consume, according to a leading expert on climate change.
Professor Paul Ekins, who studies the economics of climate change, said taxing plasma screens would reflect their “greater climate change burden”.
This would encourage development and take-up of more energy efficient diode screens, Professor Ekins said.
He said government could label energy hungry appliances as a first step.
Plasma televisions, which are 50% bigger than their cathode-ray tube equivalents, consume about four times more energy, according to the government-funded Energy Saving Trust.
A cathode-ray tube TV costs about £25 per year to run and accounts for 100kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, whereas a plasma TV costs about £100 per year and accounts for 400kg of CO2.
But some researchers say exact comparisons are difficult because of the size difference between plasmas and other screen types: cathode-ray tube and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).
“At the very least you might think that government would provide some differential incentives to accelerate the development of more energy efficient diode screens and encourage their take-up,” said Professor Ekins, co-director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
“Once plasma screens are bought, they are likely to be there for five years at a minimum, perhaps 10 years, perhaps longer.”
Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens do not require a backlight and thus draw less power. But observers say the technology needs to overcome several technological hurdles, such as the limited lifetimes of some of the materials used in them.