This year’s Ashden Awards will see eight organizations vying for the top prize. Among them is a microfinance provider operating in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The finalists’ list has seven other bodies from Peru, Indonesia, Cambodia, Africa and Afghanistan.
The winners of the Ashden Awards, the world’s leading green energy prize, will take home over £120,000 as prize money. The awards will be announced in London on May 30.
The Karnataka-based Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) has been playing a vital role in meeting the poor’s energy needs. The NGO provides affordable loans to families in the area, helping them buy renewable energy systems that improve their quality of life.
Key to the success of this highly replicable program, which has so far provided nearly 20,000 energy loans, are well-run self-help groups that help people make informed choices on what energy products they buy, said a statement from Ashden Awards.
According to Founder Director of Ashden Sarah Butler-Sloss said: “Ensuring the poor have access to finance for sustainable energy technology will be a key factor in achieving the UN’s goal of ensuring universal access to modern energy services by 2030. SKDRDP is a perfect example of how a well-run microfinance organisation, which encourages people to take responsibility for their finances, can play a major role towards achieving this aim.”
The Ashden Awards, founded in 2001, have been encouraging the greater use of local sustainable energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Since then, the award winners have improved the lives of 33 million people worldwide, saving over 4 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
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