The selected finalists will compete for over £140,000 prize money. The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Sir David Attenborough in London on 1st July 2010.

Worldwide about 2.5 billion people have no access to modern fuels and cook on wood or charcoal. And almost a quarter of the world’s population - 1.6 billion people live without access to electricity. The Ashden Awards finalists highlight how the innovative use of sustainable energy such as solar, and micro-hydro for electricity and biogas for cooking, delivers huge benefits to communities across the developing world. They show how it is possible to transform lives and significantly reduce carbon emissions through the use of simple, yet innovative designs, clever marketing strategies and a clear focus.

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 CO2a year - this years’ international finalists alone have saved over 250,000 tonnes of CO2 in the last twelve months.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards said:

"These finalists highlight the importance of local sustainable energy initiatives both in reducing carbon emissions and in directly tackling poverty and lack of access to vital resources. These inspirational projects show that with the right kind of support, local sustainable energy schemes can play a significant role in meeting poverty reduction targets and tackling climate change”

This years six finalists are:

India/ Global: D.light Design for designing, manufacturing and marketing high quality, durable and affordable solar lanterns.

India/ Global: D.light Design is a social enterprise established in 2007 by two Stanford graduates to design, manufacture and sell a range of high quality, durable and affordable solar lanterns in developing countries, where there is a high dependence on kerosene for lighting. Just three years on, D.light has sold over 220,000 lanterns improving the lives of over one million people in 32 countries – with its main markets in India and East Africa. The lanterns are robust, efficient and well designed, and sell for as little as $10. Thanks to an extensive marketing campaign and a network of distributors and entrepreneurs, their sales figures continue to rise. The lanterns sold to date are reducing carbon emissions by approximately 44,000 tonnes each year by replacing kerosene and other fuel sources for lighting. The company’s headquarters are in Hong Kong with offices in China, India, Tanzania and the US.

CONTACT:
Mariette de Fourmeaux du Sartel, Head of Business Development (India)
T +91 (0)11 4315 6700
mariette.fourmeaux at dlightdesign.com

Laura Smeets, Marketing Manager (Tanzania)
T +255(0)788 399 794
laura.smeets at dlightdesign.com

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, Communications Consultant (Global)
T +852 5300 4650
dorcas at dlightdesign.com

Brazil: CRELUZ for generating electricity for remote rural communities using micro-hydro power.

Brazil: CRELUZ is a progressive cooperative founded in 1966 and based in Southern Brazil. Its 20,000 members own and operate six micro-hydro plants that use the power of running water to provide electricity to communities living in the region via a network of 4,500km of power lines. The project has improved the lives of 80,000 local people with the very poorest benefitting from free electricity. With greater earning opportunities due to a reliable and affordable source of electricity, people are choosing to stay in the area instead of migrating to nearby towns – a prevalent trend in rural Brazil. Deforestation is also being tackled by the scheme as members and local schools replant trees using seeds from indigenous trees. By using run-of-river power instead of large scale hydro, fossil fuels or diesel generators, the plants save over 7,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

CONTACT:
Valdair Pedro, Director of Finance and Administration (Brazil)

T +55 (55) 3754-1800
valdair at creluz.com.br

Nicaragua: TECNOSOL for promoting the use of solar energy for lighting and medical facilities.

Nicaragua: TECNOSOL is a commercial enterprise set up 12 years ago to provide solar energy products to rural communities in Nicaragua who lacked access to a reliable source of electricity. Since then TECNOSOL has sold over 40,000 solar home systems, solar vaccine fridges, solar freezers, solar water pumps, solar thermal sytems/water heaters as well as wind and pico-hydro technologies, benefitting over 240,000 people. Communities who previously lacked access to electricity can now light their homes, keep food fresh, power their medical facilities and enjoy TV and other forms of entertainment. TECNOSOL has 17 branches reaching every remote corner of the country and is expanding into El Salvador and Honduras. It employs 75 staff and has an annual turnover of US$3.1 million.

CONTACT:
Vladimir Delagneau Barquero, President and General Manager (Nicaragua),

T +505 2251 5152/ 2249-9871/ 22551625
M + 505 88834464
vdelagneau at tecnosolsa.com.ni
Kenya: Sky Link Innovators* is a commercial enterprise set up in 2007 to promote the use of biogas as an alternative source of fuel for cooking. Deforestation is rampant in Kenya due to the use of wood as fuel for cooking and heating homes. Sky Link has worked hard to popularise the use of animal and even human waste as a viable source of fuel as a way of protecting Kenya’s disappearing forest. To date it has sold 200 domestic biogas plants and six large-scale ones in schools and a prison, reaching at least 5,200 people. Use of wood has been reduced by 800 tonnes per year resulting in an estimated reduction in carbon emissions of 1,100 tonnes a year.

CONTACT:
Kaburu, Communications Consultant (Kenya)

T +254 722856146
akaburu at ke.nationmedia.com

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Rural Energy Foundation for stimulating a sustainable supply of and demand for solar energy solutions.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Rural Energy Foundation (REF) is a Dutch not-for-profit group that has been working to promote the use of solar energy in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa where more than 70% of the population lack access to electricity. By developing and training a network of rural entrepreneurs to promote and supply solar energy products, REF has succeeded in stimulating a sustainable supply of and demand for solar energy solutions. As a result, 300,000 people in nine sub-Saharan countries including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Mozambique and Zambia are enjoying the benefits of a reliable, affordable and clean source of energy. So far 57,000 solar home systems and 36,000 lanterns have been sold through 200 retailers. Kerosene savings of typically one litre per week per household are cutting carbon emissions by approximately 12,000 tonnes per year.

CONTACT:
Willem Nolens, Director (Netherlands)

T +31 626 696 693
M+31 613 114 681
mailto:mwillem@ruralenergy.nl


Chris Mulindwa, Business Coach (Uganda)
T +256 776 777 973
chris at ruralenergy.nl

Vietnam: Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development and SNV for enabling large-scale distribution of biogas technology.

Vietnam: In 2003, in partnership with SNV, the Dutch aid agency, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, initiated an ambitious programme to turn Vietnam’s waste and odour problem into a source of clean energy through the use of biogas digesters. The goal is to install 168,000 biogas systems by the end of 2012 and so provide a model for how to scale up biogas for the masses. With over 78,000 systems installed between 2003 and 2009 benefitting more than 390,000 people, the programme is clearly on track to meet its target. The success of the project is down to the simple yet effective strategy of combining extensive training of large numbers of masons with a major marketing campaign designed to stimulate demand. This has created an infrastructure and a demand for biogas technology that will continue even once the programme ends.If we take into account the fact that each biogas system is saving over 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year through the replacement of fossil fuels and firewood, by the end of 2009 this initiative had reduced carbon emissions by around 167,000 tonnes per year

CONTACT:
Nga Nguyen Dao Tuyet, PR/Communications Officer (Vietnam)

T +84 4 38463791 (ext 132)
nnguyendaotuyet at snvworld.org

Further information

For further information on the 2010 Ashden Awards international finalists including technical information and case studies/quotes or to schedule interviews, contact Carla Jones : T + 44 (0)20 7410 7068; M + 44 (0) 7910054447; Email: carla.jones at ashdenawards.org