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Indian solar group wins top UK award

London: D light Design, an Indian social enterprise that brings innovative solar lanterns to many people across India and other developing countries, has won the top Gold Award at the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2010.

The prize, worth 40,000 pounds, was announced yesterday night by noted environmentalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough.

D light Design was chosen for designing, manufacturing and marketing high quality, durable and affordable solar lanterns.

In the words of the judges, the enterprise was chosen for the Gold Award for “its passion and dedication to the cause of ridding the developing world of the health and pollution problems associated with the use of kerosene lighting through the design, manufacture and promotion of durable and affordable solar lanterns in India and across the developing world.”

The judges were particularly impressed with their highly effective marketing strategy which has put solar lighting within reach of over a million people in 32 countries with significant potential for further expansion.

Five other international winners were also chosen for their pioneering work in benefiting communities across the globe and saving thousands of tonnes of CO2 through the innovative use of sustainable energy technologies.

Attenborough said: “These award-winners are champions at delivering practical ways of protecting our planet and its precious biodiversity through the use of sustainable energy.

They are reducing carbon emissions and protecting local eco-systems, while improving the lives of the people they touch.

“They deserve to be celebrated for their important role in tackling both climate change and poverty.”

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards said: “Our 2010 winners are living proof of the significant contribution that local sustainable energy initiatives can make to tackling poverty, lack of access to resources and the threat of climate change.

“We are delighted that we can highlight the work of these pioneering projects in the hope that decision-makers across the globe will be inspired by what can be achieved through the strategic use of simple, yet innovative technologies.”

Other international winners were: Creluz (Brazil), Tecnosol (Nigeria), Sky Link Innovators (Kenya), Rural Energy Foundation (Sub-Saharan Africa) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and SNV, Vietnam.

The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy were founded in 2001 to encourage the greater use of local sustainable energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty.

Since then they have rewarded over 140 winners across the UK and the developing world.

The Ashden Awards work to show-case and celebrate best practice, encourage the expansion and replication of winners? work, raise awareness of the potential of local sustainable energy, and advocate on their winners’ behalf.

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