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Energy Globe Award

With more than 187 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.

National ENERGY GLOBE Award Malawi 2019

Submitted by: SolarAid
Bold innovation to ensure no one is left in the dark

SolarAid is determined to lead the way for a brighter future. Whilst their current market-based business model has reached over 10.5 million people with solar light, this is not enough and SolarAid now has a new goal, “no one left in the dark by 2030”. To achieve this, alongside expanding their core business model SolarAid is developing pioneering innovations designed to reach those who cannot afford even a $5 solar light, the poorest rural communities no one else will reach.

Initial situation
Over the last decade, SolarAid has been almost alone in providing access to affordable solar lights in Malawi through their market-based business model, The SunnyMoney Way. After hearing from customers that the $10 solar light they were offering was simply unaffordable, SolarAid decided to act and launched the SM100, a $5 solar light in late 2016. Since then, they have been promoting the SM100 through schools campaigns.

SolarAid has now reached over 10.5 million people with solar light. This milestone was achieved due to our innovative distribution model: combining business and charity to most effectively reach rural areas with maximum impact. Nevertheless, this is not enough, particularly in Malawi where solar lights are just too expensive. We have evolved our model since winning the award last year to include new innovations which will lower the affordability further and reaching the poorest communities that no one else will reach.

SolarAid will install switches and light bulbs in households throughout a village for free. An affordable fee is agreed with the community for each household to rent a solar-charged battery – no more than someone pays for candles or batteries that only last a few days. The family can re-charge their battery at the village solar powered-charging station. The monthly fee from each household pays for someone to run the charging station and helps create a sustainable solution that doesn’t depend on aid.

Capital: Lilongwe
Official language: English, Chichewa
Total area: 118.484 km²
Population: 14.901.000
GDP/Capita/Year: $322
Source: Wikipedia 2012