Tuesday, January 24, 2006

India's Noble Energy Solar Technologies Bests Kerosene With Free Solar Power

Ashden Awards finalist, Noble Energy Solar Technologies LTD, of Secunderabad, India, has perfected a hardy, yet inexpensive, solar-powered lantern at a price within reach of just about everybody.
Unlike kerosene, which has been the traditional form of lighting used in every village across the country for decades, solar energy, aside from the initial cost of the lamp itself, is free.

Called the 'Aishwarya' lantern (to honor India's Miss World winner, Aishwarya Rai) it retails for around $20 US, but is made available on a rent-to-own basis at a more reasonable $2 a month (approx.).
So far, 45,000 lamps have been sold and 50,000 more confirmed orders for 2006 have yet to be filled.

In some villages the lamps have been hung like street lights, allowing community meetings at night and a place for children to study. It also extends working hours, allowing citizens a better chance at earning their way out of poverty.

In one particular village, children gathered beneath the glow of a single lamp to study long into the evening.
Chairman & Managing Director Array Dharmappa Barki, told the Ashden Awards rep., "If just one child from each family has decent schooling, then they have the chance to get out of the slums."

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