Sustainable Power British Company Nominated in Two Awards Categories

Eight19, a British company developing a solar solution for mobile phones in off-the-grid regions, has been selected as a finalist in the categories “Small Business of the Year” and “Renewable Energy Project of the Year” of the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards.

The overarching judging criteria of both awards are innovation and applicability. The solar as a service business model removes the traditionally prohibitive high upfront costs of solar, improving energy access through a proven and sustainable business solution. First deployed in Kenya last September, IndiGo is now meeting the needs of people in Zambia, Malawi and, more recently, in South Sudan.

The company’s solution is called IndiGo, a pay-as-you-go solar system that provides clean and affordable electricity to off-grid rural communities in places like Africa, where mobile telephony is widespread but a significant number of people do not have access to modern electricity services.

1.6bn people are not connected to the grid and use dirty fuels such as kerosene. Eight19 said solar lamps and phone chargers are not new but so far more expensive than many potential users can afford.
The IndiGo system consists of a low-cost solar panel, a battery unit with inbuilt mobile phone charger and a high efficiency light emitting diode (LED) lamp. Users put credit on their IndiGo device using a scratch card, which is validated over SMS using a standard mobile phone.

"We are honoured to be named as finalists for both the “Renewable Energy Project of the Year” and “Small Business of the Year” by the judges of the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards. Eight19's IndiGo pay-as-you-go solar is helping make renewable power affordable in some of the poorest areas of Africa and it’s a privilege to be recognised in this way,” said Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO.

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 4 July at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. The gala evening will bring together finalists, political and business leaders from across the low carbon economy to celebrate the achievements of the last year and debate the future development of this vibrant sector. The 2012 panel of leading green business experts includes some of the UK's most high profile green business commentators and winners from last year's inaugural awards. This will be the second edition of the awards.

Image credit: Eight19