Green energy champions line up for global prize
For immediate release 23 April 2013
Green energy champions line up for global prize
2013 Ashden Award finalists announced
11 outstanding green businesses and social enterprises from around the world have been selected as finalists for the 2013 Ashden Awards, the world’s leading green energy prize.
The Ashden Awards were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of sustainable energy to reduce poverty and tackle climate change. Organisations in the running this year are working in countries as diverse as Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia and Vanuatu.
Finalists have taken a range of approaches to meeting the poor’s energy needs and protecting the planet, including cookstoves that save charcoal and protect forests, pay-as-you-go solar power schemes, and microfinance to support local green enterprise.
Four International Ashden Awards are on offer, as well as two Ashden Awards for Small Island Developing States. Winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 20 June 2013.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Founder Director said:
“Every year we search for the most exciting green energy trailblazers in the developing world. This year we believe we have uncovered social enterprises and businesses that are truly innovative and life-changing. As well as pioneering new approaches to increasing energy access and improving energy security, they clearly demonstrate that sustainable energy is essential to reducing poverty worldwide.”
Finalists for 2013 International Ashden Awards
Azuri Technologies: Pay-as-you-go solar for Kenyan homes
Small solar home systems bring good quality light and phone charging to off-grid households. Yet their upfront costs render them out of reach for the people who would benefit most. Azuri Technologies has developed a pay-as-you-go interface which allows households to pay for solar as they use it with scratchcards, avoiding the need for microfinance.
Cookswell Jikos: A ‘seed to ash’ approach to cleaner cookstoves (Kenya)
The late Dr Maxwell Kinyanjui was a pioneer in improving the sustainability of charcoal in Kenya, developing the charcoal-saving Kenya Ceramic Jiko and other technologies, and promoting commercial reforestation and efficient charcoal production. His family continues to take his ideas forward, selling jikos, charcoal ovens, and small charcoal kilns, and working with partner the Woodlands Trust to plant trees and ensure the sustainability of the business.
Impact Carbon: Catalysing the growth of the East African stove market
Impact Carbon works with life-saving stove and water filter enterprises to access carbon finance and help build their businesses, making safe and efficient products more affordable for the people who want to buy them. Uganda is Impact Carbon’s biggest market, where the five stove businesses it works with have dramatically increased sales and capacity. As well as improving the health of women and children by reducing indoor air pollution, precious forests are saved.
MicroEnergy Credits: Helping microfinance providers finance clean energy products
MicroEnergy Credits (MEC) helps microfinance institutions promote and provide loans for green products. Its largest programme is with XacBank in Mongolia. MEC has supported XacBank in making efficient heating and insulation an option for familes who would not otherwise be able to afford it, saving them a total of $28 million a year in fuel expenditure. Average winter temperatures in Mongolia reach -20 °C.
OMC Power: Sustainable power for telecoms and surrounding villages (India)
Running a mobile network is often costly and polluting. Indian business OMC has pioneered the use of solar-diesel hybrid plants to power telecom towers, and also rents electricity services to communities in surrounding villages. In rural India, where only half the population have access to grid power, OMC Power’s clean, bright lanterns with mobile chargers and its portable ‘powerboxes’ are transforming life for the better.
SolarAid: Creative distribution brings solar power to East Africa’s rural poor
With the audacious goal of eliminating the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020, SolarAid’s sales teams work with schools in rural East Africa to promote good quality, affordable lights to families. The benefits are immeasurable: children are able to study in the evening, polluting and dangerous kerosene is avoided, while families save money. And by using competitive procurement, SolarAid is helping raise standards across the industry.
WWF – DRC: Grassroots cookstoves project protects forests and helps families
Rapid deforestation in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is threatening its fragile ecosystem and over half the world’s population of highly endangered mountain gorillas. Meanwhile, for Goma’s burgeoning population, spending a high proportion of their income on illegally plundered charcoal makes climbing out of poverty an impossible dream. WWF is training local businesses to build and sell efficient stoves that halve the amount of charcoal needed, helping people and protecting the sensitive forest environment.
Finalists for 2013 Awards for Small Island Developing States
Cabeólica: West African island state leads the way in wind power (Cape Verde)
Small islands face a double whammy of complete dependence on imported fuel and crippling import costs. The public-private partnership of Cabeólica in Cape Verde off the West Coast of Africa has harnessed the islands’ plentiful Saharan winds to help it reduce diesel import costs and increase its energy security. Investing in wind is also helping stall brain drain: Cabeólica is staffed entirely by Cape Verdeans, some of whom returned from overseas to take up technical jobs at home.
D&E Green Enterprises: Protecting lives and Haiti’s forests against the odds
In January 2010, Duquesne Fednard’s newly built cookstoves factory was destroyed by the Haiti earthquake. Just over three years on, he has succeeded in halving the use of charcoal on cookstoves on an island where human plunder has all but eliminated the country’s forests. The business is now doing well, selling 33,000 stoves over the past three years and reducing pressure on Haiti’s severely depleted wood resources.
Green Power: Harnessing the Pacific sun to light up rural lives (Vanuatu)
For scattered archipelago islands like Vanuatu, extending the electricity grid to poor rural areas often doesn’t make economic sense. Rural families typically rely on the dim light of dirty and dangerous kerosene lamps. By working closely with partners like youth groups and microfinance providers, Green Power has sold over 40,000 affordable solar lanterns since late 2009, bringing clean, electric light to 32,000 off-grid households.
Palau National Development Bank: Incentivising household energy efficiency
The island group of Palau, part of Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean, might be a surprising location for a household energy efficiency programme. But the National Development Bank is leading the way with its programme to integrate energy efficient measures into its mortgage lending for new-builds, drastically cutting the need for energy-intensive air-conditioning. Over the past three years nearly all the new builds on the islands have included approved energy-efficiency measures.
Ashden: Luke Malcher | +44 (0) 207 410 7068 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
2. Since 2001, Ashden award winners have improved the lives of 33 million people worldwide, and are now saving over 4 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
3. Some 1.4 billion people around the world lack access to modern energy, while 3 billion rely on ‘traditional biomass’ and coal as their main fuel sources.
4. A total of 14 Awards will be presented at the ceremony, as follows:
- Four UK awards, to include:
- The Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation
- The Ashden 2013 UK Gold Award
- Four international awards, to include:
- The 2013 International Gold Award
- Citi Ashden Award for Financial Innovation
- Waterloo Foundation Ashden Award for Avoided Deforestation
- Zennström Philanthropies Ashden Award for Innovation
- Two Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel
- Two Small Island Developing States Awards, supported by SIDS DOCK and the World Bank
- Two Ashden School Awards
5. Winners of the 2013 International Ashden Award will receive £20,000 to £40,000 in prize money as well as business support, access to investors and a global platform to build their profile.
6. Winners of the 2013 Ashden Awards for Small Island Developing States will receive £20,000 each in prize money as well as business support, access to investors and a platform to build their profile.
7. Brief information about each finalist and a high-resolution image can be found at www.ashden.org/2013_awards
8. The Awards ceremony is on Thursday 20 June at 7.15pm and is by invitation only. Please contact Julia Hawkins (email@example.com) if you would like to be registered.
9. On Wednesday 19 June from 9am to 5pm the 2013 Ashden Conference will be held at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London where some of the UK and international finalists will speak about their work, along with panel debate and discussions. Speakers will include Jonathon Porritt and Camilla Toulmin from the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED). Journalists are welcome to attend and can book in advance for one-on-one interviews. Contact Julia Hawkins: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Bank and SIDS DOCK
10. The Awards for Small Island Developing States is a new ward category launched this year with the support of the World Bank and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) through the SIDS DOCK support program.
11. The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org and www.ifc.org
12. The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is a global knowledge and technical assistance program that assists low- and middle-income countries to achieve environmentally sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth. ESMAP is funded by the governments of Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom
13. SIDS DOCK is an initiative among member countries of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to provide the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with a collective institutional mechanism to assist them transform their national energy sectors into a catalyst for sustainable economic development and help generate financial resources to address adaptation to climate change. SIDS DOCK helps small island states to develop and deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency through multiple initiatives aimed at reducing both fossil fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions. The SIDS DOCK programme is jointly managed by UNDP and ESMAP. Initial funding of US$14.5 million for SIDS DOCK has come from the Government of Denmark. For more information, please visit www.sidsdock.org