Grameen Shakti wins green energy award

June 22, 2008

The 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award
at the Ashden Awards ceremony in London on Thursday
Staff Correspondent -The Daily Mail – Saturday, June 21, 2008

Collated by Brother Shafi

Grameen Shakti, which has installed 150,000 solar home systems in the country and is adding around 5,000 new systems each month, was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award at the Ashden Awards ceremony in London on Thursday.
The non-profit organisation — a 2006 Ashden Awards prizewinner — bagged the award for its role in income generation among rural population through installation of solar home systems, says a press release received in Dhaka.
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy was founded in 2001 by the Ashden Trust, a Britain-based charity that works to increase the use of local sustainable energy worldwide.

In November 2007, when cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh, solar was a lifeline: solar mobile phones warned people of the cyclone’s approach, and the majority of solar installations survived its impact.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder and chair of the Ashden Awards said: “We continue to be astounded by the way Grameen Shakti links renewable energy technologies with income generating activities, and provides efficient services at the local level through renewable energy entrepreneurs. We hope that the Outstanding Achievement Award supports Grameen Shakti in the ambitious goal of installing one million solar home systems and 10 million improved cooking stoves by 2015.”
Grameen Shakti promotes, develops and popularises renewable energy technologies in remote, rural areas of Bangladesh. Nearly 70 percent of homes in the country have no electricity and rely on kerosene for lighting, which is smoky and a fire risk.

It sets out to make solar systems affordable to the poor by supplying small 20Wp systems — typically for two lights and a radio or phone charger — that can be paid for through micro loans.

Grameen Shakti continues to make impressive inroads with solar energy, and is now diversifying, using its robust infrastructure to roll out programmes for biogas plants and improved cooking stoves.

The organisation now has 400 local offices and opens 10 new offices every month. It also has a network of 20 ‘Grameen Technology Centres’ which have trained 1,000 women entrepreneurs to assemble solar home systems and cooking stoves. 50 of these women have now set up their own businesses.

Accepting the award, Dipul Barua, managing director of Gameen Shakti, said: “When I was here two years ago, I was inspired by my fellow Ashden Awards winners to diversify into improved cooking stoves and biogas systems. In those two years we have installed 15,000 improved cooking stoves, 3,500 biogas plants, and expanded our solar home systems to 160,000.

“For the future, I plan to install one million solar home systems by 2010, 10 million cooking stoves, and one million biogas plants; and will be able to create 100,000 green jobs by 2015 in Bangladesh,” he added.

( Earlier in May 2008 Grameen Shakti has won the First Place under the National Energy Globe Award 2007.

Dipal Barua, managing director of Grameen Shakti, received the awards in the Plenary Hall of the European Parliament in Brussels on May 26.

Eminent personalities such as European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering, EU Commission President Jose Manual Barroso, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev attended the ceremony. )

[thanks to brother Shafi for collecting the news]

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