Solar power pioneer brings affordable energy to rural Africa
Social for-profit enterprise Barefoot Power is rolling out a wide range of solar power products at speed across Africa, brightening up the lives of 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.
Founder Director of Ashden Sarah Butler-Sloss said: “In this International Year of Sustainable Energy For All, Barefoot offers a powerful example of the huge potential for businesses to bring sustainable energy to the poor. For children doing their homework and parents carrying out household chores, the benefits of being able to extend their day in a way that also avoids the polluting and dangerous effects of kerosene are immeasurable.”
The Ashden Awards were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of sustainable energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Since then award winners have improved the lives of 33 million people worldwide, saving over 4 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
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.
Photos of finalists work online: http://www.ashden.org/media/international_photos/2012_finalists
Film footage of projects is available on request.
Notes to editors
1. The Ashden Awards were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of local clean 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. Ashden showcases and celebrates best practice, encourages the expansion and replication of winners’ work, raises awareness of the potential of local sustainable energy, and advocates on their winners’ behalf. For further information, including photos, films, and case studies on past winners, go to www.ashden.org. The Ashden Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.
2. The UN has designated 2012 as the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All. In response, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a new global initiative – Sustainable Energy for All which aims to achieve three major objectives by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. www.sustainablenergyforall.org
3. The Ashden Awards ceremony will be held on 30 May at the Royal Geographical Society in London. To report/film the event please contact Carla Jones (details as above).
4. The Ashden Awards annual conference will take placeat the Royal Geographical Society on 29 May, where some of the international, UK and sustainable travel finalists will speak about their work, along with panel debate and discussions. Journalists are welcome to attend and can book in advance for one-on-one interviews. Contact email@example.com.
To read live comment on the Awards Ceremony and conference and for other news go to Twitter: http://twitter.com/ashdenawards Facebook: http://bit.ly/9GKbIM Blog: http://www.ashden.org/blog/latest