Global green energy awards announce international finalists for 2012

Friday, 27 April, 2012

Green energy charity Ashden has announced the selection of seven sustainable energy pioneers working across Africa, India, Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Peru as finalists for the Ashden Awards 2012. The finalists will compete for over £120,000 prize money, with the winners to be announced at a prestigious ceremony in London on 30 May 2012.

Founder Director of Ashden Sarah Butler-Sloss said: “In this International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, our finalists are leading the way in showing how progress on cutting carbon can go hand in hand with improving livelihoods, empowering women and improving health and education outcomes. We’re committed to helping our winners grow even further and sharing the lessons they have learned so they can be replicated far and wide.”

The Ashden Awards were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of local sustainable energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Since then they have rewarded over 140 green energy champions across the UK and the developing world, improving the lives of 33 million people worldwide and saving over 4 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

The Ashden Awards 2012 finalists are:

iDE/Hydrologic, Cambodia

The NGO iDE and its for-profit subsidiary Hydrologic Social Enterprise’s labour-saving ceramic water filters mean rural families have safe drinking water without using wood to boil it, protecting health as well as Cambodia’s forests. With over 226,000 filters sold so far, some 420,000 people are benefitting, while 41,000 t of CO2 emissions are currently being saved every year.

IBEKA, Indonesia

Off-grid hydro schemes are bringing the benefits of electricity - like good quality light, TV and power tools - for the first time to remote communities in Indonesia. The not-for-profit People Centred Economic and Business Institute (IBEKA) is responsible for developing the schemes, which are owned and managed by communities. IBEKA also develops on-grid schemes, which provide an income to communities from selling electricity to the grid. With 61 hydro schemes installed so far, 54,000 people currently benefit and 7400 t of CO2 a year are being saved.

SKDRDP, India

Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) in South India is an example of the vital role a well-run microfinance organisation can play in meeting the poor’s energy needs. The Karnataka-based NGO provides affordable loans to families in the area, helping them buy renewable energy systems that improve their quality of life. Key to the success of this  replicable program, which has so far provided nearly 20,000 energy loans, are self-help groups that help people make informed choices on what energy products they buy.

MyShelter, Philippines

The MyShelter Foundation is lighting up dark rooms in poor urban homes in the Philippines through its use of clear plastic drinks bottles as skylights. A plastic bottle, water and a few drops of bleach are all that’s needed to prepare the bottles, which are then sealed into roofs to enable bright daylight to filter through. The Solar Bottle Bulb is being distributed throughout the Philippines, with skilled promotion through social media helping to enlist volunteer support and generate global interest. Around 25,000 bottle-lights have been installed so far.

WindAid, Peru

Family-run business WindAid is harnessing the plentiful and reliable supply of wind along Peru’s mountainous coastline to power up the region’s rural communities and businesses. Their simply designed turbines are made locally: graduate volunteers are trained to manufacture and install the turbines, building their practical skills and rural development knowledge, while WindAid receives an income from the volunteers that helps it fund community installations. Its installations have a total wind capacity of 57 kW.

Barefoot Power, Africa and global

The social for-profit enterprise Barefoot Power is rolling out a wide range of solar power products at speed across Africa for those with limited or no access to grid power. Products range from single desk lamps to complete kits for use by community homes, clinics and schools. With good links to microfinance organisations, Barefoot has sold more than 300,000 lanterns and lighting kits to the rural poor in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere.

GIZ/INTEGRATION, Afghanistan

The German development corporation Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and consulting engineers INTEGRATION are bringing electricity to the Badakhshan and Takhar provinces in north-east Afghanistan by constructing off-grid hydro schemes that are capable of weathering challenging circumstances. All communities get a share of construction work while training in productive uses of electricity is stimulating the growth of small businesses, offering a viable alternative to growing opium. Working with the Afghan Government, the partners have so far installed six microhydro plants with total capacity 1.3 MW, providing 24-hour electricity to 63,000 people, 110 public organisations and 645 small enterprises.

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