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Ashden International Awards 2013

Ashden International, a UK based company that champions for universal access to sustainable energy. It promotes local sustainable energy and a shift to a low carbon economy bringing green jobs, energy security, lower fuel bills and reduced fuel poverty.

It is preparing for awards reward organisations that deliver, or play a key part in delivering, renewable energy and energy efficiency at the local level, and through this bring social, economic and environmental benefits. “In 2013 we will make a total of up to four International Awards. One Gold Award will have a prize fund of £40,000 and the others will win prize funds of £20,000 each,” it says on its website.

As well as this cash prize, winning an Ashden Award brings many other benefits, such as national and international publicity, through the work of its specialist media team. A tailored business support programme to take the work of winners further.  This can include professional mentoring, training, and introductions to grant, carbon and investment financers. A broadcast-quality documentary film of the Award-winning work. Opportunities to present your work to large and influential audiences at the Ashden Awards ceremony and conference. Membership to the network of Ashden Award-winners, who are all leading practitioners in local, sustainable energy.

Below are guideline on how to apply and who are eligible.

Who can apply for an Ashden International Award?

·         Businesses, NGOs, social enterprises and government organisations are all eligible.

·         The application can be for a specific programme, or for a product or service that has been proven on the market. This may be the whole work of an organisation, or part of it. The work must have been delivered for at least one year.

·         The work must be delivered in areas that do not have developed world standards of living. These can be rural or urban programmes or enterprises, and in Africa, Central and South America, or Asia.

·         We do not make awards to start-up, pilot or demonstration projects.

Who should be applying for a different Ashden Award?

 Any organisation working in a ‘Small Island Developing State’ should check if they are eligible for aspecial Award for these states.

 Any organisation based in the UK should check if they are eligible for our UK, Schools or Sustainable Travel Awards.

 See for details of all these other awards programmes.

What are we looking for this year?

The Ashden Awards are a showcase. We want to reward work that is delivering, or enabling the delivery of, sustainable energy, while bringing health, education or livelihood benefits to the energy poor. The work must be financially sustainable and have the potential to scale or replicate. In 2013 we are particularly interested in:

Avoided deforestation in tropical forest areas: enterprises or programmes that provide renewable energy, energy efficiency or sustainable heating fuels which are significantly reducing deforestation in tropical forest areas (for example: fuel efficient stoves and biogas, biomass briquettes to replace wood, micro hydro schemes that include forest protection).

Finance organisations and schemes: organisations providing innovative financial mechanisms to access sustainable energy products and services (for example: end-user finance, carbon finance, finance for start-up and small energy enterprises).

Increasing energy access: enterprises or programmes that increase energy access by providing renewable energy products or services for homes, businesses, education or health care (for example: providing off-grid electricity or extending the grid, clean cooking stoves, water provision, efficient electrical products).

 Humanitarian: organisations working on rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes which include a focus on rebuilding lives in ways that save energy and minimise the use of non-renewable resources in the long term (for example: fuel efficient stoves, off-grid electricity, insulation in flood-proof buildings, water treatment, solar hot water, water conservation and management to reduce fuel use for pumping and transporting water).

The key criteria for the Ashden International Awards

To be shortlisted and win an Award, work must:

1. Have been delivering, or helping to deliver, renewable energy and energy efficiency at a local level for at least one year. Examples include biogas, hydro, solar pv, wind, efficient stoves, biomass gasification (from sustainable sources, such as agricultural residues) and biomass heating fuel (eg briquettes, charcoal or pellets from sustainable sources such as agricultural residues). This can also include extending the grid with renewable energy technologies to communities that didn’t previously have energy access.

2. Be delivering, or helping to deliver, significant social and economic benefits to individuals and communities. Benefits could include improvements in quality of life, health and welfare, educational facilities, food security or income-generating activities. Work must respect local culture and customs.

3. Be delivering, or helping to deliver, demonstrable benefits to the environment. The work must be providing or saving energy, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and bringing benefits to the local environment.

4. Have the capacity to expand, or be replicable. We are looking for work that has significant potential to grow, and that will encourage the widespread uptake of local, sustainable energy.

5. Be financially sustainable. We are looking for efficient use of funds and evidence that future funding is secure, whether from sales, carbon finance, investment, grants or any other source. Organisations can be for-profit or not-for-profit, but must have a clear path

to being financially sustainable.

6. Show an innovative approach to sustainable energy. Many Award-winners use established technologies, but there must be innovative aspects to the work as a whole. These could include novel approaches to marketing and distribution; better financing schemes; training and skills development; introducing a technology to a different country or region; different business models. Award-winning work must add something to what past winners have shown.

7. Be run by an organisation with the capacity and commitment to expand the work. Award-winning organisations must demonstrate good governance and management, a continuing commitment to sustainable energy, and a willingness to work with others such as finance organisations or training providers, and have the motivation to either significantly expand their sustainable energy programme/enterprise or have it replicated widely

Apply online for a 2013 Ashden International Award

If your sustainable energy work fits the Awards criteria, and our particular interests for 2013, then apply for an Ashden Award, by filling in the online registration form at

If you want to discuss whether your work is relevant to the Awards, or have questions about how to fill in the online form, then you are welcome to contact the Awards coordinator at, and one of our team will get in touch with you.

It is important to read the detailed information about the Ashden Awards, and some of the case studies of previous winners on the website before applying. Applications must be received by Tuesday 23 October 2012.

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