Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Ashden Awards past winner gets Zayed Future Energy Prize

Grameen Shakti, who won an Ashden Outstanding Achievement Award in 2008, have now been awarded the inaugural Zayed Future Energy Prize. Dipal Barua accepted the prize of $1.5m, saying:

“It is a great honour to receive this recognition inspired by the vision of HH the late Sheikh Zayed, I consider myself a global Ambassador of the Prize, and would like to carry forward the message of environmental sensitivity that is being championed by the leadership of Abu Dhabi.”
You can read more on the press release section of the Zayed website.

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Thursday, 12 February 2009

Ashden Awards Winter Receeption

Last week we held a Winter Reception at the Royal Society of Arts. Jonathon Porritt CBE, who is an Ashden Awards trustee and chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, spoke at the event.
He gave us his analysis of the energy situation in the UK, referring to the effects of recession and the "new green deal" brought in by President Obama.

As well as Jonathon's presentation, there was plenty of opportunity for networking, with investors, funders, past winners and Ashden Awards Circle members present.
There were also displays of some of our winners' technologies, including scale models such as this sawdust-fuelled stove from KSG:
and this treadle pump from IDE India:

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Friday, 6 February 2009

Coverage of our event at Intelligence Squared

Treehugger.com has reported on the Intelligence Squared event we were involved with on 25th January:

"Can Asia go green? (and if it doesn't has the world had it?)" was a fascinating discussion amongst four women (finally!) from Asian countries. Malini Mehra, from India, Christine Loh, from Hong Kong (a Time magazine Hero of the Environment), Svati Bhogle, Indian and winner of an Ashden Award for Sustainability and Isabel Hilton, editor of China Dialogue each examined their respective country's status and future.
Svati, pictured below with Ben Dixon of the Ashden Awards, won the Energy Champion award in 2008 for her work with wood stoves for businesses in India.
We had several displays set up for the event, including scale models of some of the technology used by our international winners:and the infamous "energy bike" from Global Action Plan (a 2008 UK winner):

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Monday, 2 February 2009

Ashden Awards winners in the Independent

A couple of articles featuring Ashden Awards winners have been published in the Independent recently. The first is about how Zara Solar has brought solar PV lighting to Tanzania:

Developing solar power in Africa is being eagerly pursued by international organisations including the World Bank and the United Nations and a host of smaller NGOs such as the UK’s Ashden Awards, a sustainable energy initiative whose support was the catalyst for the spread of the technology through northern Tanzania. In 2007 Ashden awarded £30,000 to a local solar entrepreneur, Mohamedrafik Parpia, to expand his fledgling business and investigate ways of helping the very poorest Tanzanians access the systems. In just three years, Parpia’s business Zara Solar has fitted nearly 4,000 systems, providing electricity to a much greater number. Click here for the full story
The second is also based on Tanzanian organisations, this time the Kisangani Smith Group, who have developed domestic stoves that can burn waste sawdust, and MRHP, who use crop waste to fire bricks:
The stoves are made from a sheet of metal which is lined with clay. Sawdust or other agricultural residues are then used as fuel. Cooking with biomass in this way dates back to the discovery of fire, but that does not make it primitive. “I kept watching the carpenters throw away sawdust,” says Reuben Mtitu, whose grandfather set up the blacksmith workshop he now runs to provide skills and employment for local young people. “I wondered why they wasted so much, and started to think of ways we could put it to good use instead.” Click here for the full story

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Getting your message out with social media

The Big Green Challenge has just started writing a series of blog posts on how to use social media to get your message out to the world.

Vicki Costello introduces the series:

The web today can offer enormous possibility for supporting citizen-led action on social and environmental issues. From sites such as freecycle and liftshare, which provide a service to help people create specific change, to groups of people getting together through networking sites such Facebook to campaign on a particular issue.

Over the next 6-8 weeks, Headshift’s Robin Hamman will guest blog for Big Green Challenge to help tell you how. He’ll be talking about how to make the most of blogs, photos, maps, video and groups; tying it all together and keeping it going.

Robin has been working with the Big Green Challenge Finalists to help them make the most of social media, and we want to share some this training, through the Big Green Challenge blog, to help many more community-led projects benefit from online social media tools.

You can read the full introduction here.

The first post of the series is here, and future posts will appear on the Big Green Challenge blog.

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