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Solar & Alternative Energy

Greenlight Planet wins Solar For All design contest

SPIE Newsroom
13 July 2010

Ashoka and Canopus Foundation, founders of the Solar for All initiative, have announced the winners of the Solar for All Design Contest. From a diverse and impressive field of 58 companies and organizations from 29 countries, Greenlight Planet has been awarded the First Prize of the Solar for All Design Contest for their solar-powered lanterns.

Solar for All is a global initiative to make significant advances in the goal of making solar energy affordable to the 1.6 billion people on this planet without access to electricity. The initiative was founded by Canopus Foundation and Ashoka, and is by now supported by a consortium of more than 50 of the world's leading organizations working in the field of energy access for the poor. For the past six months, Solar for All has been running a contest to find the best innovations in delivering affordable solar photovoltaic power to low income communities without access to electricity, combining both affordable technical solutions with a developed market approach.

As first place winner, Greenlight Planet will receive an investment of $250,000 from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. "We are impressed by their focus to develop a sustainable business serving the base of the pyramid in India," explains Gary Hattem, President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. "Greenlight Planet's approach combines both affordable products together with a truly innovative approach to reaching the poorest residents of the most rural communities."

The runner up Kaïto Energie AG receives €10,000 from Good Energies. Prof Eicke Weber, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy and chairman of the jury, adds: "Kaïto's long-term vision of electrifying Senegalese villages and their step-by-step approach of reaching the goal is impressive." Promethean Power Provider received the ERM Award.

An award ceremony was hosted by Intersolar North America. "With over 3.5 billion people lacking reliable access to electricity, the growth potential of the solar PV market in developing countries is immense." remarks Markus Elsaesser, CEO Solar Promotion International GmbH.