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World’s leading green energy awards seeks entries from Africa for 2012

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The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy is seeking entries for the 2012 awards, a statement from the organisers said in Accra on Friday.

“We want to hear from inspirational, innovative local clean energy programmes from across Africa, Asia (including China), Central and South America and the Caribbean that are reducing carbon emissions and providing significant social and economic benefits to their communities”, the UK-based Ashden Awards said in the statement made available to the Ghana News Agency.

Toyola Energy Ghana Limited won a prize in 2011 for its efficient charcoal stoves.

The company developed an innovative business model of ordinary stoves of which has succeeded in selling 154,000 efficient and affordable charcoal stoves to low-income families, 75 per cent of whom buy the stoves on credit and use savings on charcoal to pay cash back.

The stoves save about 26,000 tonnes of charcoal a year, and around 150,000 tonnes a year of CO2.

Toyola plans to open more centres in Benin, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the next two years, stepping up sales to a further 140,000 stoves by 2013.

The statement said the entry was free, and up to six winners would receive £20,000 each in prize money for programme development, with one winner receiving a gold award of £40,000.

“The Ashden Awards are unique: we offer our winners a package of benefits and tailored support designed to help them scale up; provide a platform to promote their work through events, media coverage, and film and make introductions to potential funders and investors,” the statement said.

Willem Nolens, Director of Rural Energy Foundation, 2010 Ashden Award winner, said: “The Ashden Award gave us access to new funding and a pool of expertise which has helped us tremendously by strengthening our strategy and accelerating the transformation of our organisation into a social enterprise.”

The statement said this year Ashden was particularly interested in organisations delivering end user or carbon finance; manufacturers of new products providing renewable electricity or clean cooking for low-income customers.

It was also interested in off-grid and grid-connected renewable electricity schemes bringing significant local benefits; the production of renewable fuel for heat or electricity generation; and programmes that were demonstrably reducing deforestation through their work.

Source: GNA

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