International winners 2011

Toyola Energy Ltd, Ghana

Money box credit scheme brings stoves to all

Winner of the 2011 International Gold Award and the Award for Africa. Efficient stoves are not new but Toyola has developed an innovative business model which has succeeded in selling 154,000 efficient and affordable charcoal stoves to low-income families, 75 per cent of whom buy the stoves on credit and use savings on charcoal to pay cash back. The stoves save about 26,000 tonnes of charcoal a year, and around 150,000 tonnes a year of CO2. Toyola plans to open more centres in Benin, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the next two years, stepping up sales to a further 140,000 stoves by 2013.


Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd, Gujarat, India

Crop waste powering industry

Winner of the 2011 International Award for Sustainable Fuel Supply. Many of Gujarat’s industries rely on dirty, highly-polluting lignite for power. Abellon are fuelling Gujarat’s industries with biomass pellets made from crop residues that replace these fuels and give 8,500 local farmers a market for their waste product. Abellon currently produces 65,000 tonnes of biomass pellets a year, avoiding around 110,000 tonnes of CO2. Abellon aims to open two more pellet plants in Gujarat in the next five years, trebling its production, and expanding operations into international markets.


Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P)

Warming homes, saving trees

Winner of the 2011 International Award for Avoided Deforestation. In the remote mountain villages of Pakistan winters are long and harsh and extensive deforestation is a major problem. Aga Khan Planning and Building Service have established an innovative programme providing families with access to affordable, energy efficient technologies which warm their homes, heat their water and reduce their consumption of fuel wood. The programme tackles deforestation and climate change by saving 100,000 tonnes of wood a year and preventing emissions of around 160,000 tonnes a year of CO2. AKPBS,P aims to extend this approach to other Himalayan countries, which face similar challenges and reach another 17,000 homes by 2014.


Husk Power, Bihar, India

Clean, safe power brings 21st century living to rural villages

Winner of the 2011 International Award for off-grid energy generation. Bihar is one of the most poorly-served states when it comes to electricity. Husk Power is connecting remote villages in Bihar to a clean, reliable electricity supply, which provides better light, harnesses a widespread waste product and costs less than alternatives. Husk Power’s 65 plants gasify rice husks and other biomass waste to supply electricity to around 180,000 people and, by replacing kerosene, they cut greenhouse emissions by over 8,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. The company is growing rapidly, aiming for over 2,000 plants in operation by the end of 2014.


ToughStuff International, UK and Africa

Affordable, flexible, durable solar systems

Winner of the 2011 International Award for a sustainable energy enterprise. Making solar affordable is key if the technology is to reach the millions who would benefit from it. ToughStuff is manufacturing and marketing a range of low-cost and robust solar products to off-grid communities across Africa, bringing the benefits of light, mobile phone charging and radio to poor households. So far 140,000 PV modules have been sold, benefitting around 740,000 people. The company also works with humanitarian relief agencies to bring solar lighting to people living in disaster zones in Haiti and Pakistan. ToughStuff aims to reach 33 million people by 2015 through its regional offices in Nairobi, Lagos and Johannesburg.


International runners-up

AJDR Cooperative, Rwanda

Efficient stoves provide employment and save fuel

AJDR Cooperative are improving health, cutting carbon and helping street kids and unemployed youth earn an income by making fuel-efficient charcoal-burning stoves from scrap metal, heat retaining insulated baskets and wood burning rocket stoves. Over 16,000 efficient stoves have been sold in the past four years, saving over 8,000 tonnes of CO2. With the Rwandan government firmly committed to cutting charcoal use, AJDR is further improving the efficiency of its stoves.


Nuru East Africa Ltd, Rwanda

Pedal-powered lights brighten lives

An innovative approach from Nuru East Africa has found a new way to provide affordable lighting in rural areas using LED rechargeable lamps that sell for only US$5. The lamps replace smoky kerosene lamps in homes and are also used as bicycle lights. Nuru has also developed pedal powered generators to recharge the lamps. Nearly 10,000 lamps have been sold and 70 pedal-powered generators are now in use, mainly in Rwanda and also in Kenya. And with a new carbon finance deal, Nuru plans to set up hundreds of new entrepreneurs in the next three years.


Ugastove Ltd. Uganda

Stoves priced for the poorest

Price is key if the poorest are to access efficient stoves. Ugastove is making fuel-efficient charcoal and wood stoves for homes, schools and businesses, which sell for as little as US$7. They are making the stoves accessible to the poor through a scheme which allows customers to pay back the price of the stove through the cash they save on charcoal. About 80,000 stoves have been sold since 2006 and their total greenhouse gas savings are now over 100,000 tonnes a year of CO2. The enterprise is expanding to reach customers in more remote parts of Uganda and beyond.

We are sorry to announce that Kawere Muhammad, the founder of Ugastove, died unexpectedly on 23 May. We offer our condolences to his family. We are confident that Ugastove will continue to thrive and build on Kawere’s legacy.