SolarAid wins a Eurosolar Prize for solar light mobilisation in Africa.

Planet Solar: “Tomorrow evening SolarAid will be awarded with the EUROSOLAR European Solar Prize 2013 at an awards ceremony at the Berlin Branch of KfW Bankengruppe in Germany.” “….SolarAid have been awarded this prestigious prize, now in its twentieth year, for their work combatting both climate change and poverty with solar lights in Africa.”
In Africa 600 million people do not have access to electricity and many rely on dirty kerosene for light. Kerosene is extremely dangerous and contributes to the indoor air pollution that causes a million deaths worldwide every year. Burning kerosene emits black carbon, the second biggest contributor to global climate change. It is also extremely expensive for rural African families, who can spend around 25% of their income on kerosene every week.
For about $10 SolarAid provides families the opportunity to buy a clean, safe solar alternative. Not only is the light brighter, safer and better for the environment – it gives free light and provides more time for studying, working and socialising. SolarAid distribute these solar lights in East Africa through  their social enterprise SunnyMoney. By selling rather than giving, it is building a sustainable market for solar products in Africa that is growing at an exponential rate.
The people that need solar lights most live in the remotest rural corners of the continent, far from the electricity grid. Getting solar lights to  places that have little infrastructure is a huge challenge and the charity raises money to cover the expensive cost of this distribution. It also works to lobby governments to have fair tax policies for importing solar, so that the economy can flourish.
Jeremy Leggett, Founder and chairman of SolarAid and Solarcentury, said:Receiving this award is a hugely gratifying recognition both of what SolarAid has achieved, and the potential prize we see ahead of us. Our goal is to rid Africa of the kerosene lantern by 2020 and with our cumulative solar light sales surpassing 750,000 in October, with over 72% sold in the last 12 months, we are on track. It’s an exciting time. We have the potential to create a vibrant microcosm of how relatively easily clean energy can replace fossil fuels if people pull together”.”