For more than two billion individuals across the world, going green is about more than saving the planet — it’s simply about accessing electricity. With over 25 percent of the world’s population living off the electrical grid, finding a safe lighting solution for homes and businesses continues to present a challenge. But Greenlight Planet is hoping to make a difference by making solar energy products available and affordable.
Founded in 2007, the company seeks to lower the barrier of entry to solar lighting by way of its line of Sun King products. And now, the firm has been awarded the 2016 Ashden Award for their role in increasing energy access through micro-financing to disadvantaged communities.
Already, Greenlight Planet has sold over 5 million solar lighting products to millions of households across 54 countries. This, the company hopes, will begin to close the gap that still exists between developed and developing nations when it comes to access to electricity. The firm is also attempting to aid in accessibility by way of its pay-as-you-go payment option, Easy Buy, which lets consumers purchase lighting for as little as fifteen cents a day.
“For those living off the electric grid, kerosene, wood, or coal-powered lighting are often considered the only options available — but each of these come with notable health risks, not to mention detrimental impacts on the environment,” said T. Patrick Walsh, Greenlight Planet’s founder and CEO. “By developing safe and affordable solar energy products, we aim to show remote communities that there are other options available so they can live brighter and more productive lives.”
Over the last several years, Greenlight claims that 25 percent of its users have reported an increase in household income, and that their products have helped eliminate a whopping 9,000,000 tons of CO2 pollution every year. The company hopes to reach 20 million households by 2018, a goal that may be furthered by this latest Ashden recognition.
Said Walsh, “We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition from Ashden, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to increase the development of solar technologies for remote dwellers worldwide.”