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India Solar Home Systems Project wins UN21 Award

In July 2008 the India Solar Home Systems Project has been awarded the UN21 Award for 2007 in the category of 'Field Projects'.

The project has created a new business model for financing domestic renewable energy including solar water heating systems. This model is now being picked up in other countries including Morocco and Tunisia as well as in Albania, Algeria, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia and Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia and Tunisia.

The project started In 2003 with the support of the UN Foundation and the Shell Foundation, when UNEP and URC teamed up with local Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank and associate Rural Grameen Banks. Funding was used to buy down the cost of solar loans for people in parts of southern India where electricity is either absent or unreliable.

Over four years an estimated 100,000 people have been able to afford clean and reliable solar power and the initiative is self-financing. Today 20 banks with networks of 2,000 branches are offering competitive solar loans.

For further information contact:  Jyoti P. Painuly, jypa@dtu.dk 


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August 6, 2008