Community, Diaspora and Immigration

Winners of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2010

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Winners of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2010 were tonight announced at a VIP ceremony in London addressed by Sir David Attenborough. Five international winners and a Gold Award winner were awarded over £140,000 prize money for their pioneering work in benefitting communities across the globe and saving thousands of tonnes of CO2 through the innovative use of sustainable energy technologies. Sir David Attenborough said: “These award-winners are champions at delivering practical ways of protecting our planet and its precious biodiversity through the use of sustainable energy. They are reducing carbon emissions and protecting local eco-systems, while improving the lives of the people they touch. They deserve to be celebrated for their important role in tackling both climate change and poverty. ” Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder and chair of the Ashden Awards said: “Our 2010 winners are living proof of the significant contribution that local sustainable energy initiatives can make to tackling poverty, lack of access to resources and the threat of climate change. We are delighted that we can highlight the work of these pioneering projects in the hope that decision-makers across the globe will be inspired by what can be achieved through the strategic use of simple, yet innovative technologies”   This year’s overall Gold Award winner (£40,000) is D.light Design, India/ Tanzania, selected for, in the words of the judges: “its passion and dedication to the cause of ridding the developing world of the health and pollution problems associated with the use of kerosene lighting through the design, manufacture and promotion of durable and affordable solar lanterns in India and across the developing world. The judges were particularly impressed with their highly effective marketing strategy which has put solar lighting within reach of over a million people in 32 countries with significant potential for further expansion.” Project summary: This India Award is supported by Christian Aid.   This years International winners are:  CRELUZ, Brazil (£20,000) selected for, in the words of the judges: “its dedication to creating a safe, clean and reliable electricity supply for rural communities in the southern Brazil through the used of micro-hydro power and for dramatically improving the lives of the local population. The judges also admired the commitment of CRELUZ to directing a portion of the cooperative’s profits towards social and environmental projects”. Project summary: This Award for Social Enterprise is supported by Zennström Philanthropies. ASHDENTECNOSOL, Nicaragua (£20,000) selected for, in the words of the judges: “its enormous commitment and success in offering new opportunities to people in off-grid communities across Nicaragua through the expansion of solar PV and other renewable energy options and for its hugely successful marketing strategy which has ensured that solar PV is not only on offer across Nicaragua but also in neighbouring countries”. Project summary: Sky Link Innovators, Kenya (£20,000) selected for, in the words of the judges: “its’ strong commitment to popularizing the use of biogas as a viable source of fuel in order to protect Kenya’s disappearing forests and for providing rural communities with access to a clean, cheap and safe alternative for cooking.” Project summary: This Award for Avoided Deforestation is supported by the Waterloo Foundation. Rural Energy Foundation, Sub-Saharan Africa (£20,000) selected for, in the words of the judges: “the significant role this organization is playing in expanding and increasing the take up of solar energy in Sub-Saharan Africa and for creating jobs and providing access to electricity for thousands of remote rural households.” Project summary: The Africa Award is supported by the John Ellerman Foundation   The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and SNV, Vietnam (£20,000), selected for, in the words of the judges: “their highly successful partnership which has enabled the distribution of biogas technology across Vietnam on a massive scale in a way that is both sustainable and has the potential for further expansion. By popularizing the use of biogas among pig farmers, this programme has tackled head on Vietnam’s waste problem and has brought tremendous benefits to farming families.”   Project summary: In the last ten years Ashden Award winners have improved the lives of 23 million people worldwide and together are saving three million tonnes of CO2 a year – this years’ international winners alone have saved over 250,000 tonnes of CO2 in the last twelve months.   About Ashden Awards: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of local sustainable energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Since then they have rewarded over 120 winners across the UK and the developing world. The Ashden Awards work to show-case and celebrate best practice, encourage the expansion and replication of winners’ work, raise awareness of the potential of local sustainable energy, and advocate on their winners’ behalf. For further information The Ashden Awards Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

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