International winners 2010
Hydro powers the community
Reliable electricity is critical to the sustainability of rural communities. In Brazil energy co-operative CRELUZ has built six micro hydro plants which supply electricity to an area of 12,000km2, benefiting over 80,000 people. Reliable power means greater opportunity for income generation and less migration to cities. In its commitment to sustainability, CRELUZ has begun a complementary programme of reforestation.
Solar lanterns lighting up the world
For the 1.6 billion people across the world without electricity there has been little alternative to smoky, polluting kerosene lamps for lighting. d.light has provided that alternative thanks to a cheap, reliable solar lamp. Over 220,000 units have already been sold in over thirty countries via a network of rural entrepreneurs. As one of these entrepreneurs says, ”this will do to kerosene what mobile phones did to letters”.
Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development and SNV, Vietnam
Pigs are flying in Vietnam
Problems are opportunities. So thought the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and the Dutch aid agency SNV when they came to tackle the twin problems of dangerous cooking practices and huge amounts of untreated animal waste. Converting the waste to energy via biogas digesters produced clean, reliable energy for cooking and heating and reduced the health and environmental problems associated with wood fuels, not to mention the animal waste. Over 78,000 systems have been installed benefiting more than 390,000 people with CO2 savings of around 167,000 tonnes per year.
Rural Energy Foundation (REF), Sub-Saharan Africa
Villages lit up by solar
More than 70% of sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity. In rural areas this often exceeds 95%. REF has met this need by turning local communities on to solar. Recognising that the products are nothing without the local entrepreneurs to promote and install them, REF has trained local networks of budding entrepreneurs. As a result, in only three years 300,000 people in nine countries have gained access to solar energy. And better quality light gives opportunities for study, income-generation and leisure activities as well as vital access to radio and mobile phones.
Sky Link Innovators, Kenya
Waste not going to waste
Deforestation is ravaging rural Kenya as people strip forests for vital cooking fuel. Yet biogas, produced from animal and human waste is a viable alternative. What is lacking is training and awareness. Sky Link is a social enterprise that builds and installs biogas plants. Sky Link also trains local technicians so that they have the skills to build biogas plants. 200 domestic biogas plants and six large-scale ones in schools and a prison have been sold benefiting at least 5,200 people. And, as impressively, wood use has been reduced by 800 tonnes per year resulting in an estimated 1,100 tonnes a year reduction in carbon emissions.
All power to the sun
“I like to see the excitement on people’s faces when they can turn on a light. I feel I am making people happy.” So says an installer of solar systems in rural Nicaragua where TECNOSOL has developed a range of solar-driven systems that are providing critical power for schools, health centres, and businesses, not to mention the 40,000 systems sold to homes across the country. With 17 branches across Nicaragua, TECNOSOL is now spreading its message and products across the continent.