Clean energy innovators to compete for Sh2m prize


Harriet Lamb, Ashden CEO. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Innovators stand to win up to Sh2 million in cash prize for clean energy solutions that address the needs of marginalised communities in Kenya and other African countries.

London-based charity Ashden announced that its 2021 Awards will focus on four categories — energy access innovation, humanitarian energy and the cooling in informal settlements as well as in natural climate solutions that specifically highlight reforestation projects in the Congo basin.

“Our awards will focus on innovation supporting those marginalised or at risk of being left behind – from indigenous peoples to families living without electricity,” said Harriet Lamb, chief executive of Ashden.

Applications for the awards are open till March 3. Winners will in addition to cash prices benefit from development support and networking opportunities, including having their works published on Ashden Awards’ portal.

The Ashden Award 2020 winners in Africa included the state-owned Togolese Electrification and renewable Enery Aency (AT2ER) for its efforts to expand access to electricity; Egypt’s Econsult architects and Uganda’s New Energy Nexus whose ‘last mile distributors’ ensure clean energy products reach rural areas: and the women-led bee farming and reforestation project, Camew in Cameroon.

This year’s theme, said Ms Lamb, seeks to entrench efforts towards reducing adverse climatic impacts that hurt lives of marginalised people, including the world’s 80 million refugees and displaced people.

Ms Lamb observed that the coronavirus pandemic had reversed gains made in environmental protection.

“This award will spotlight the best initiatives alleviating heat stress, and help make solutions accessible and affordable to those in greatest need,” said Ms Lamb.