Over 2 billion people have no access to electricity. Around the world people are coming up with solutions, which not only meet some of their energy needs in a sustainable manner, but are also helping the environment. Anita Roddick introduces 5 stories which illustrate how this issue is being tackled.
Aishwarya – India
In many parts of the world electric lighting is taken for granted. But for over 2 billion people who have no access to grid-connected electricity, the simple act of switching on a light is impossible. An enterprising businessman, D. T. Barki has put his years of experience in the solar industry to use by developing a low cost solar lamp called Aishwarya.
Green with Envy – UK
Motorbikes are a practical form of transport all around the world – quick, nimble and able to carry a variety of loads. However, they are noisy and in congested cities they add to the atmospheric pollution. ENV is an exciting prototype bike that offers the potential of a cleaner, greener future. It works by converting hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity. The only emission is water vapour that is clean enough to drink.
Eternal Flame – Rwanda
Rwanda’s troubled past has led to a huge influx in the prison population. Severe overcrowding has put overwhelming pressure on the prison infrastructure, especially the sanitation system, leading to health and environmental problems. The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has devised a solution to solve this problem in an environmentally friendly way.
Fat of the Land – UK
Argent Energy has built the UK’s first large-scale biodiesel plant, and the biggest of its type in Europe, near Motherwell in Scotland. The first batch of biodiesel was produced in March 2005. The plant is now fully operational and capable of producing 50 million litres of biodiesel per year.
Not Justa Stove – Honduras
Tortillas are an every day staple food in Honduras. For many women, the homemade tortilla industry provides a key source of income, but it has a devastating effect on their health. Smoke from wood fuel lingers in unventilated kitchens causing severe respiratory problems often leading to death. An improved stove design has been developed to remove smoke, resulting in cleaner and healthier kitchens.
Several of these case studies have been recipients of the highly regarded Ashden Awards, which recognise that industrialised and developing countries alike urgently need to make more use of local sustainable energy to ensure a liveable future. The Awards are currently looking for applicants for next year’s awards. Further information and an application form can be found on their website: www.ashdenawards.org/
Our thanks go to Ashden Awards for for highlighting these projects and funding the filming for this broadcast.