Enabling the poor to make informed energy choices
Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) in South India is a prime 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 highly replicable programme, 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.
Winner – Gold Award for International Energy Access
In partnership with UN Energy and the UN Foundation
Award for financial innovation supported by
Flexible solar products for the poor
The social 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 about 350,000 lanterns and lighting kits to the rural poor in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, India and the Americas.
Award for sustainable enterprise supported by
Brighter prospects for rural Afghanistan
The German development corporation GIZ and consulting engineers INTEGRATION are bringing electricity to the remote Badakhshan and Takhar provinces in North East Afghanistan by constructing new off-grid hydro schemes that are capable of weathering the most challenging of circumstances. Responding to local sensitivities, 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 micro-hydro plants with total capacity 1.3MW, providing 24-hour electricity for the first time to 63,000 people,110 public organisations and 645 small enterprises.
Community-owned micro hydro
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, creating new livelihood opportunities and a window on the wider world. 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 7,400 tonnes of CO2 a year are being saved.
Protecting health - and Cambodia’s forests
The NGO iDE and its for-profit subsidiary Hydrologic Social Enterprise’s energy-saving ceramic water filters mean rural families have safe drinking water without using wood to boil it – so protecting health as well as Cambodia’s precious forests. With over 226,000 affordable filters sold so far via NGO programmes, shops and rural sales agents, some 420,000 people are benefitting. The impact on the environment is equally impressive: so far 41,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions are currently being saved every year.
Award for avoided deforestation supported by
International runners-up 2012
Solar bottles light up the Philippines
The MyShelter Foundation is lighting up dark rooms in in poor urban homes in the Philippines through its pioneering 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. With around 25,000 bottle-lights installed so far, MyShelter aspires to light up many more homes in the future.
Powering up Peru’s rural communities
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, so building their practical skills and rural development knowledge, while WindAid receives an income from the volunteers which helps it fund community installations. Its installations have a total wind capacity of 57 kW.