Winners of global green energy awards announced
UN leader calls for global action on energy access
London � 30 May 2012 - Winners of the world's leading green energy prize were announced tonight at a prestigious ceremony at the London-based Royal Geographical Society, addressed by Dr. Kandeh, Director General of UNIDO and Chair of UN-Energy, a global crusader for increasing access to energy for the poor.
The five winners have been awarded a total of £120,000 to help them scale up their work. They are: a community-owned micro-hydro programme in Indonesia (IBEKA); a micro-hydro programme in remote Afghanistan (GIZ/INTEGRATION), a microfinance provider in rural India that helps poor people invest in renewable energy (SKDRDP), an energy-saving water filter in Cambodia (iDE/Hydrologic) and an affordable solar power provider (Barefoot Power) that's lighting up lives in East Africa.
This year's overall Gold Award winner is South India-based is the Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), which impressed the judges for demonstrating the key role a microfinance organization can play in meeting the poor's energy needs.
The Ashden judges said: "SKDRDP is fantastic example of how ethically managed microfinance can deliver sustainable energy to the poor, and for demonstrating that providing consumer loans for energy makes sound social, environmental and economic sense. We were bowled over by the scale SKDRDP has achieved so far, along with the responsibility it takes for lending to the poor, nurturing users to take out effective loans. SKDRDP has huge potential to expand its work even further, and to inspire many others to follow its lead."
In his keynote speech, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella urged governments around the world to increase their support for clean energy pioneers: "The Ashden 2012 winners are exposing the myth that poor countries cannot stimulate growth without degrading the environment. They are demonstrating that sustainable energy stimulates green growth and new jobs, lifts people out of poverty, improves health and opens up new educational opportunities.
"The decisions that will be taken at Rio in June will carry consequences for generations to come. Governments around the world must act urgently to agree the right policies and investment incentives that nurture these and other sustainable energy champions, before it's too late."
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden said: "In this uncertain world our winners offer a beacon of hope, showing that access to sustainable energy offers a clear route out of poverty for millions of people around the world. We're committed to sharing the lessons they have learned so they can be replicated far and wide."
Notes to editors
The Ashden Awards 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 140 green energy champions across the UK and the developing world and improved the lives of 33 million people worldwide, saving over 4 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Ashden's Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales (www.ashden.org)
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.sustainableenergyforall.org
Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella is the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as well as Chair of UN-Energy, a UN umbrella body dealing with energy-related issues. He plays a key international role in raising awareness of the need for universal access to energy, increased energy efficiency and enhanced deployment of renewable sources of energy � the three major goals of the UN Sustainable Energy For All campaign.
Call for entries for 2013 Ashden Awards: We're now seeking entries for the 2013 Ashden Awards. Full details of the prize package, criteria and application forms are on the Ashden website: www.ashden.org/apply
Further details of this year's international Ashden Award winners
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, 90,000 are currently use, benefitting some 420,000 people. The impact on the environment is equally impressive: with each filter saving over half a tonne of wood over its two-year lifetime, so far 41,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions are currently being saved every year.
Thuy Nuy, who has bought a water filter using finance that the iDE also provides, says: "Finance is very important to me � without it, it is very difficult to purchase the water filter. It's not difficult to repay the money, it's less than $5/month.�
Another customer said: "I don't have to spend time boiling water. I can just fill up the filter and drink from the tap � easy.�
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.
Says Aki EngKok, Village Elder in Ciptagelar: "After coming back from the rice field in the dark in the evening, we don't need to find kerosene � now the lights just come on. And although we are in the mountains we can get information about what's happening on the other side of the world.�
Tri Mumpuni, IBEKA's Executive Director said: "I told them I'm a woman. I can wait as long as I get what I want. And I want the government to agree on our proposal [to sell electricity back to the grid�.
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 169,000 self-help groups that help people make informed choices on what energy products they buy.
Said Hanastra Vasanthi: "Now my cooking is done much more quickly and I can spend more time with my children, helping them with their studies.�
Barefoot Power, Africa and global
The social enterprise Barefoot Power is rolling out a wide range of affordable 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 homes, clinics and schools. With good links to microfinance organisations, Barefoot has sold around 350,000 lanterns and lighting kits to over 1.7 million rural poor in remote areas of over 20 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, India and the Americas.
Sales and Marketing Manager Anne Kayiwa Kaggwa said: "I am paid to do my job but it is very fulfilling to know I am changes people's lives while I am doing my job.�
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. With funding from the German Government and 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.
Says Ghulam Rabbani: "Now we have lights, the TV, an iron, a kettle� There's a code of conduct that says we mustn't use too much power or we deprive our neighbours. And we respect that. We're all part of the same community.�
The MyShelter Foundation is lighting up dark rooms 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.
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.
UK AWARD WINNERS
Five pioneering initiatives from across the UKreceived Ashden Awards.
Each was presented with £10,000 to be spent on expanding their sustainable energy work. The winners are: Energy4All, Parity Projects, Student Switch Off (Neil Jennings Associates CIC), and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM).
This year’s overall UK Gold Award winner is the National Trust, which received £20,000 in recognition of the outstanding progress it has made in reducing energy use and CO2 emissions at its Welsh properties, with cuts of 41% achieved in just two years and a commitment to rolling out its work across the rest of its properties.
Ashden Founder-Director Sarah Butler-Sloss said: “The National Trust’s work stood out for its strategic vision, its thorough approach, its expertise, and for getting everyone on board, from cleaners through to senior management. Most impressive of all, it has shown that if huge energy savings can be made in historic listed buildings, they can be made in any building”.
Now in their 12th year, the Ashden Awards champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, boost economies and improve people’s lives in the UK and developing world.
Speaking about the Awards, Kevin McCloud said: “Among all the weapons in our armoury in the fight against climate change, the Ashden Awards is a powerful one. By celebrating human change – in how we live, how we travel, how we build and maintain our homes, how we invest – it shows us what’s possible for us all to achieve.”
The 2012 UK winners are:
UK Gold Award winner: National Trust
The National Trust has cut energy use across its Welsh properties by a massive 41% over just two years, demonstrating that even the most sensitive buildings can be made much more energy efficient. Secrets of success include a combination of efficiency measures, sustainable heating technologies and a culture change in how energy is managed. As well as cutting down on energy use it has installed renewable sources of energy, including solar PV and hydro power.
Energy4All demonstrates how communities can be inspired to take ownership of sustainable energy. This Cumbria-based company manages 8 co-operatives with 7,690 members, who collectively own the equivalent of over 20 MW of capacity in UK wind farms. In 2011 the wind farms generated over 45 GWh of electricity, saving 19,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions
This dynamic company offers tailor-made advice to home owners and social housing providers on how best to reduce their fuel bills through energy efficiency measures as well as micro renewable energy generation .The team first visits properties to take measurements and find out how clients use their buildings, then inputs the information into its own specialised software which projects costs and savings for different retrofitting options. So far Parity has given advice to over 700 households as well as 17 social housing providers covering more than 240,000 homes, as well as training over 500 people to do retrofitting.
Student Switch Off (Neil Jennings Associates CIC)
Student Switch Off is harnessing student silliness to take simple steps to save energy, including wrapping up warm, switching off lights and using lids on saucepans, so helping participating UK universities to keep a lid on their fuel costs. Through its inventive use of social media, peer-to-peer engagement and student-focused incentives, this exciting initiative last year helped participating universities cut their electricity consumption by over 7%. Some 43 universities and 18,000 students are involved so far.
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM)
By investing money to save energy and winning the hearts and minds of staff, UHSM has achieved cuts of 35% in gas and electricity use over the past five years, this year saving some £390,000 on fuel bills at current energy prices. With new technologies such as biomass boilers, heating system upgrades, new lighting, windows and insulation combined with staff behaviour change, the hospital’s logical approach to retrofit is eminently replicable across the NHS.
The 2012 UK Runners Up are:
This Lake District-based company is harnessing the natural resources of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales with a new approach to building micro-hydro installations. Over the past two years it has constructed 5 hydro projects with a total capacity of 620 kW, with a further 17 due for completion over the next three years.
Perdiswell Primary School
Since its inception in 2008, Worcester-based Perdiswell Primary School’s ‘Switch Off’ campaign has achieved an impressive 18% cut in electricity use.
This Frome-based school is halfway through a ten-year plan to improve sustainability, with key steps including boiler upgrades, new windows, better metering and changing behaviour to save energy.
1. The Ashden Awards were set up in 2001 to champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. Since then they have rewarded and supported more than 140 winners across the UK and the developing world. For further information, including photos, films, and case studies on past winners, go to www.ashden.org<http://www.ashden.org/>
1. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is Patron of the Ashden Awards. UK and international Award winners met him at Clarence House this morning.
1. The following awards were presented at the ceremony on 30 May 2012:
· Five UK awards
· UK Gold Award
· Five international awards
· Eurostar Ashden Sustainable Travel Award
· International Gold Award
1. Case studies, films and photographs of each winner:
* Energy4All – www.ashdenawards.org/winners/energy4all12<http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/energy4all12>
* National Trust – www.ashdenawards.org/winners/nationaltrust12<http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/nationaltrust12>
* Parity Projects – www.ashdenawards.org/winners/parityprojects12<http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/parityprojects12>
* Student Switch Off - www.ashdenawards.org/winners/studentswitchoff12<http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/studentswitchoff12>
* University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) - www.ashdenawards.org/winners/uhsm12<http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/uhsm12>