Google backs SolarAid to scale solar lighting in rural Africa

SolarAid was selected to receive a £500,000 Global Impact Award from Google’s Global Impact Challenge.

The Global Impact Award, decided by a panel of judges including Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Richard Branson, will help SolarAid get 144,000 solar lights to rural families in Africa and create jobs for over 400 solar entrepreneurs, taking the UK charity a giant step forward in is goal to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020.

Four Google Global Impact Awards have been given to ‘British non-profits using tech to tackle the world’s toughest problems’. SolarAid tackles the issues of poverty, health, education, unemployment and global warming by creating sustainable markets for solar lights throughout rural Africa. SolarAids’ social enterprise SunnyMoney, sells small solar lights that are an alternative to the expensive, toxic kerosene lamps often used for lighting.

Steve Andrews, SolarAid and SunnyMoney CEO, said, “Giving people access to simple solar technology impacts poverty and changes lives forever. The Global Impact Award will help us sell 144,000 more solar lights and create a sustainable and scalable model for solar distribution, market and job creation. The impact of the technology and this award will be astounding.”

SolairAid is an Associate distributor of the Lighting Africa program.