Know (or running?) a sustainable energy scheme that deserves recognition? Act fast; the Ashden Awards closing dates are looming.
The Ashden Awards celebrate the achievements of local energy solutions, which, by encouraging these schemes can radically transform the lives of those faced with challenges such as poverty, resource shortages and climate change.
Past winners have included the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India, which shows that with appropriate training, poor and rural communities can install solar equipment in their villages and then maintain it without any further external help. The project has trained illiterate and semi-literate villagers as ‘Barefoot Solar Engineers’ (BSEs).
After the training, they return to their home villages to install solar units and provide their communities with a skilled and competent repair and maintenance service. There are now a total of 110 Barefoot Engineers, of which 22 are women. Between them they are looking after five thousand solar lighting systems. In the UK category, a notable runner up was Solar for London, run by Sustainable Energy Action Ltd, an independent, not-for-profit company whose aim is to promote the sustainable use and supply of energy, recognised for its work in trying to make the capital solar power friendly.
The prize falls into two categories; the Overseas award, focusing on renewable energy projects in the developing world, with a top prize of £30,000. The UK awards offer three prizes up to £30,000 and are looking for entrants in the following fields; electricity generation, heat generation and energy efficiency. A further £15,000 prize is open to energy agencies, advice centres or NGOs.
Take a look at www.ashdenawards.org for more information and how to apply. Closing dates; Overseas 30 November 2004, UK, 31 January 2005.