21 October 2008!
When it comes to developing cleaner, sustainable energy solutions, some of the most ingenious and practical ideas are coming out of rural communities in the developing world. Every year, small enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America apply for the Ashden Awards and win the chance to bring their sustainable energy solutions into the international arena.
The program looks for schemes that are technically rigorous, have an element of innovation and — most importantly — make a genuine difference to local peoples’ lives, both socially and economically. Many are doing this by boosting local peoples’ income, providing employment or training, installing lighting for schoolwork and even improving women’s status in their community.
Recent winners include a micro hydro scheme bringing water to remote Andean villages in Peru; a small enterprise in Laos renting out solar systems to poor families that otherwise couldn't afford it; and an initiative in Kerala turning waste food into clean fuel for cooking then using the by-product as rich fertiliser to grow vegetables.
This year up to seven winners will receive £20,000 each in prize money for project development, with one Energy Champion awarded £40,000.
Application form available online at: http://www.ashdenawards.org/int_awards
Application deadline: 21 October 2008