Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2009 International Finalists Announced

solar panel nicaragua photo

photo: Ashden Awards

If you're involved in the deploying locally-available renewable energy in the developing world with the aim of combatting climate change and reducing poverty, then being a finalist for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy is a big deal. All told £350,000 ($567,000) is awarded to expand and promote these projects. The winners will be announced on June 11th in London, and the international finalists have just been released. Here's a quick summary of those projects:

ethiopia house solar panel photo

Traditional home in Ethiopia with a small solar panel on the roof (look hard...). Photo: Ashden Awards
Ethiopia —The Solar Energy Foundation

The Solar Energy Foundation has established the largest solar power program in Ethiopia, with over 2,000 small off-grid solar systems installed in two villages and 8,500 more set to be installed elsewhere in the country by the end of the year.

biomass gasifier bihar photo

Dhaincha is the main fuel used in SRE's gasifier plant. Photo: Ashden Awards
India—Saran Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd
In Bihar, Saran Renewable Energy has installed a new gasification systems producing electricity for eleven hours a day from locally-sourced biomass. Each year 220 MWh of electricity is sold to ten businesses, farmers, a school, and medical clinic which previously had to rely on diesel generators when the electric grid all too often failed. The system also provides income to 100 farmers who supply the biomass.

ladakh greenhouse photo

Passive solar greenhouses in Ladakh allow year-round growing of vegetables. Photo: Ashden Awards
In the Himalayan state of Ladakh, French charity Groupe Energies Renouvelable, Environnement et Solidarités (GERES) is helping improve the nutrition and boost the income of villagers by working with local organizations to help them grow fresh vegetables year-round in passive solar greenhouses. Using these greenhouses spinach, coriander, onion, garlic and strawberries can be grown throughout the year.

solar powered radio tower nicaragua photo

Solar powered radio tower in Nicaragua. Photo: Ashden Awards
Empresa de Comunicaciones is a family-owned business selling radio-communications systems in remote areas. It's now looking to power these systems using solar power, as well as selling solar power systems and other renewable energy technologies. The Ashden Awards says that although , Empresa de Comunicaciones has a strong commitment to improving the lives of the rural poor, and works with NGOs and community organizations to provide small-scale loans and grants to make the systems more affordable.

kampala jellitone suppliers biomass briquettes photo

KJS's briquettes produce less smoke and provide more even heat than traditional cooking fuel sources. Photo: Ashden Awards
Uganda—Kampala Jellitone Suppliers
In addition to being a coffee processor, Kampala Jellitone Suppliers is the first successful company in Uganda to produce non-char biomass briquettes made directly from agricultural waste. Currently KLS provides briquettes to 31 schools, universities and hospitals for cooking, and to five factories to produce heat.

ARC cookstoves photo

Lightweight clay is used by Shengzhou Stove Manufacturers to produce Aprovecho Research Center's fuel-efficient cookstoves. Photo: Ashden Awards
USA/China—Aprovecho Research Center
Based in Oregon, Aprovecho Research Center has partnered with Shengzhou Stove Manufacturer (the largest coal stove manufacturer in China) to produce a portable, cheap and efficient fuel-wood stove. They have produced 60,000 stoves since 2006, 90% of which have been sold to Envirofit International. Envirofit then sells the stoves in India, where the use of the more efficient stoves helps reduce indoor air pollution and slow deforestation.

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