Tuesday, 29 July 2008

2008 winners' films on Green Energy TV

All of the 2008 Ashden Awards winners' films are now available on Green Energy TV, which hosts a wide range of interesting documentary films related to energy. You can see the films here:

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Additional photos from TIDE

TIDE (Technology Informatics Design Endeavour), from Bangalore, India, was the Ashden Awards Energy Champion in 2008. Information on their Award-winning work with biomass stoves for businesses can be found on the Ashden Awards website, along with the official media photos. However, we also have some additional photos that may be of interest, so here they are:

The setting in Bangalore:
Traditional vat for dying cloth, using fuelwood for heating:
New dying vat, with improved efficiency and able to burn crop waste:
New water boiler:
Old lodge stove:
Old dhosa stove:
New dhosa stove:
Areca nut boiler:
Sun drying areca nuts:
New areca nut drier:
Areca nut husks (to be used as fuel):
Svati Bhogle answering questions about a stove heating an urn of tea:
New domestic stove:

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

One billion trees

The latest post on Jonathon Porritt's blog covers tree planting schemes and the contribution of Wangari Maathai:


OK, so there are indeed a number of dodgy tree-planting schemes being done as carbon offsets, and it is now widely accepted that forestry-based offsets need to be treated with a great deal of caution. But that absolutely doesn’t mean that all tree-planting has ceased to be important.

I was powerfully reminded of this last week when the official report of the Billion Tree Campaign dropped through my letterbox. If anyone reading this piece RIGHT NOW is feeling a little bit depressed, then RIGHT NOW you should check this out http://www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign.

It’s an astonishing story. Back in 2005, the wonderful Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize (the first environmentalist ever to win) started campaigning around the idea of planting a billion trees. This was taken up by UNEP and a constellation of organisations all around the world, and duly launched in November 2006. I must say, I did wonder at the ambition level – that’s one hell of a lot of people out there planting one hell of a lot of trees.


Read the full post from Jonathon on his blog

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Video of Ashden Awards Imperial College seminar 2008

On 18 June 2008 the Ashden Awards and Imperial College held a seminar where the 2008 Awards finalists presented their work. The video of the event is now available to view online, as shown below. If you would like to view the slides separately, PDF files can be downloaded here.
Welcome and introduction to the day:
- Professor Sir Peter Knight, Principal of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College

Session 1: Stoves for cooking and industry
Chair: Dr Keith Pullen, Reader at City University and founder of Developing Technologies.

  • Reuben Mtitu and John Mtitu (Kisangani Smith Group, Tanzania), Blacksmiths develop wood-saving stoves
  • Milkyas Debebe (Gaia Association, Ethiopia), Clean, safe ethanol stoves for refugee homes
  • Svati Bhogle (Technology Informatics Design Endeavour, India), Wood-saving stoves for small businesses in South India
  • Questions

Session 2: Sustainable energy building local enterprise
Chair: Dr Keith Pullen, Reader at City University and founder of Developing Technologies.
  • João Alderi do Prado (Cooperativa Regional de Eletrificação Rural do Alto Uruguai Ltda, Brazil), Cooperative uses mini hydro to increase electricity supply on local grid
  • Angello Ndyaguma (Fruits of the Nile, Uganda), Solar drying business links rural farmers with export markets
  • Questions

Session 3: Solar PV and beyond
Chair: Dr Jeremy Woods, Lecturer in Bioenergy, Imperial College
  • NK Joshi (Aryavart Gramin bank, India), Bank helps customers to buy solar home systems
  • Luo Xinlian and Wang Wei (Renewable Energy Development Programme, China), Building the solar PV industry in China
  • Dipal Barua (Grameen Shakti, Bangladesh), Rapidly growing solar installer provides clean cooking as well
  • Questions

Session 4: Local authorities and schools
Chair: Dr Anne Wheldon, Technical Director, the Ashden Awards
  • Roger Wood (Arun District Council, West Sussex), District council brings energy efficiency throughout its operations
  • Alan Jones (Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire), Continually improving efficiency in a large housing stock
  • Questions
  • Stephen Green, Kathy Stonier and pupils (Ringmer Community College, East Sussex), Secondary pupil-led commitment to managing energy
  • Emma Lacey, Joe Johnson and pupils (Sandhills Primary School, Oxford), Sustainable energy throughout the culture and curriculum of a primary school
  • Questions

Session 5: Businesses and charities
Chair: Dr Anne Wheldon, Technical Director, the Ashden Awards
  • Richard Freeborn (Kensa, Cornwall), Design and manufacture of heat pumps for easy installation
  • Ian Draisey (Dulas, Powys, Wales), Diverse renewable energy services from employee-owned business
  • Questions
  • Trewin Restorick (Global Action Plan, London), Bringing energy efficiency to the workplace and beyond
  • Liz Marquis and Michael Carr (Energy Agency, Ayrshire, Scotland), Using a community wind fund to improve energy efficiency of homes
  • Questions

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Friday, 11 July 2008

An Award and a Reward

A guest post from Svati Bhogle of TIDE, 2008 Energy Champion in the Ashden Awards.
Some time, this time last year, when I was contemplating an application from TIDE to the Ashden awards, I mused over the usage of the word award and how different it was from the word reward. I understood that an award was more about an honour, a medal, a decoration but otherwise did the two words mean the same thing or were they different?

In the context of TIDE I redefined the words perhaps for my own convenience. I told myself that an award was more about recognition (especially by peers), giving the organization more credibility and exposure enabling it to extend its reach. Or an award is all about extension. A reward on the other hand is perhaps an incentive or a gift. In the case of TIDE the reward has always been our ability to bring on a smile, wipe a tear or smoothen a brow. In order obtain that reward we had to spend time, energy, money with people who mattered the most to us. So we were very focused on the intention – perhaps missing out on the extension aspects. But then should we not make extension our focus as that would enable use to bring on more smiles and one day eliminate tears?

This thought process, driven by the Chairman of TIDE enabled a clear elaboration of the road map and made the task of writing the Ashden application easy. I set for myself some guidelines when writing the Ashden application. These were:

  • Be clear about the substance that should be communicated
  • Communicate well through simple sentences demonstrating clarity of thought without being ornate
  • Be precise in what you write, avoid using general terms that conceal more than reveal
  • Argue your case logically and ensure that there are no contradictions in the submission so that the jury does not have to constantly flip pages and try and to unearth the truth.
  • Manage the word count to the extent process.

As we moved ahead through the various rounds, other messages that I had for myself were:
  • A review of the work of the past winners was enough evidence to suggest that the system works and brings out the best. So trust and respect the judging process.
  • Do not worry about the end result. You have the reward already, if not the award.

It was great however to get the award, the media coverage, the goodwill from expected and unexpected quarters, the linkages and other support that comes with the award. We now look forward to being both extensive and intensive in the goals that we set for ourselves.

Thank you Ashden.

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Thursday, 10 July 2008


Appropedia is a website that facilitates learning and collaboration on appropriate technology, with the goals of poverty reduction and international development. The Ashden Awards has a page in there, and over the coming months more information on our winners and their work will be added.

Visit the site here: www.appropedia.org

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

AID Foundation in the news

One of the 2007 Ashden Award winners, the AID Foundation, has had some news coverage recently:

Aladino Moraca, executive director of the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, pointed out that the best way to shape the public value of science and technology innovations is to have local communities contribute to their development.

Moraca gave their invention, the ram pumps, as an example. Ram pumps, made from local materials like door hinges, could funnel water upwards from 100-200 meters without having to use fuel.

Ram pumps have made potable water accessible to 15,000 people in 68 far-flung villages. Moraca said that the people from local communities helped in the establishment and maintenance of ram pumps.

Ram pumps, a Filipino invention, has gained laurels both locally and internationally. It won the Panibagong Paraan award last April and the Ashden award in London 2007. The Ashden award was personally handed by former US vice president and climate-change expert Al Gore.
(original article)
Read more about why they won an Ashden Award here.

Click here to read the rest of this post.