The annual Ashden Award finalists provide policy-makers, businesses and communities across the globe with pioneering real-life examples of how sustainable energy can be supplied, using local clean energy technologies and clever marketing strategies.
From the production of biomass pellets from crop waste to replacing coal in India, to the provision of a range of solar-powered products to off-grid communities in Africa, these finalists prove that it is possible to meet the energy needs of the poor in a way that radically improves lives, drives economic growth, cuts carbon dioxide emissions and saves trees.
The Ashden Awards, which have been made since 2001, are premised on the basis that access to affordable, clean energy is fundamental to daily life and should be a basic right. Also, that it is vital to any efforts to reduce poverty and to tackle the urgent issues of climate change and deforestation.
Ashden Awards finalists this year included the following:
Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd, Gujarat, India, for fuelling Gujarat’s industries with biomass pellets made from crop residues that replace the high carbon, polluting fuels currently used by industry and give 8,500 local farmers a market for their waste products. Abellon currently
produces 65,000t of biomass pellets
Contact Ridhdhi Parekh, marketing:
AJDR Cooperative, Rwanda, for 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 stoves have been sold in the past four years. With the Rwandan government firmly committed to cutting charcoal use, AJDR is further improving the efficiency of its stoves.
Contact Nzisabira Placide Dieudonne,
president: Tel +250-788-305-989; mobile +250-788-358-989; Nzisa_placide2001@yahoo.fr
Husk Power, Bihar, India, for 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 replace kerosene.
The company is growing rapidly, aiming for over 2,000 plants in operation by the end of 2014.
Contact Manoj Sinha, founder:
Nuru East Africa Ltd, Rwanda, for finding a new way to provide affordable
lighting in rural areas using LED rechargeable lamps that sell for only $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 but also in Kenya. And with a new carbon finance deal, Nuru plans to set up hundreds of entrepreneurs in the next three years.
Contact Sloan Holzman, director of partnerships: Tel +250-783492342;firstname.lastname@example.org
Toyola Energy Ltd, Ghana, for an innovative business model which has succeeded in selling 154,000 efficient and affordable charcoal stoves to low-income families, 75% which buy the stoves on credit and use savings on charcoal to pay the cash back. The stoves save about 26,000t of charcoal a year. 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.
Contact Suraj Wahab Ologburo, CEO:
ToughStuff International, UK and Africa, for the manufacture and marketing of 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. ToughStuff aims to reach 33m people by 2015 through its regional offices in Nairobi, Lagos and Johannesburg.
Contact George Okoro (West Africa):
Tel +23416650127; mobile +2348055501728; email@example.com
Contact George Gitau (East Africa): firstname.lastname@example.org
Ugastove Ltd, Uganda, for making fuel-efficient charcoal and wood stoves for homes, schools and businesses, which sell for as little as $7. And for 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.
Contact Ruth Kuteesa, marketing:
Tel +256-772-642275 or