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The Power Of The Sun Changes Lives In Africa (Video)

Solar Powered LED Lights change the way people live, work, and learn in Africa and around the world. Approximately 1.6 billion people in the world today have no access to electricity, something a lot of us take for granted. The folks at Philips are using the power of the sun to change this. They plan to install 100 Philips Community Light Centers across Africa by 2015. The following is a news release from Philips about this work.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Royal Philips is proud to announce that its Community Light Center solution has been recognized as one of the 100 most innovative sustainable solutions globally for positive social, economic and environmental impact on local communities by Sustainia100. Sustainia100 is an annual guide to global sustainable innovation by international institute Sustainia.

Philips’ Community Light Centers are areas of 1,000 square meters, about the size of a small soccer pitch and are lit by a new generation of highly efficient solar powered LED lighting systems. This enables life after dark for communities disadvantaged by lack of power and light. The Philips solution is now a nominee for the Sustainia Award later this year.

Philips Community Light Centers for Africa

“About 20% of all people across the globe don’t have access to reliable lighting. Sustainable innovation in solar-powered LED lighting in Africa enables social and economic development in such areas to continue after dark, whether education, healthcare, community activity such as sports, or business and training. In essence access to lighting opens up the pathway to a better quality of life. We are very proud that our Community Light Center solution has been nominated to the Sustainia100 list.” comments Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public Affairs at Philips Lighting.

Philips’ Community Light Center is a highly sustainable solution that requires no investment in costly grid infrastructure and utilizes the latest technology to minimize the solution’s carbon footprint. For example, batteries for the solar-powered lighting will last 4-5 years and are buried underground. Intelligent controls maximize the efficiency of the batteries while the LED lights offer high quality light (up to 20 LUX).

Former Governor of California and Honorary Chair of Sustainia Award, Arnold Schwarzenegger comments, “Congratulations to the Sustainia100 for 2013. They are the true action heroes of sustainability. From Canada to Kenya to Guatemala to India, these solutions are proving that we can build communities that are both environmentally and economically sustainable today and for generations to come.”

During the next two years, Philips’ goal is to install 100 Philips Community Light Centers across 12 countries in Africa. Philips’ Community Light Centers bring many benefits to local communities by enabling community life after dark. For example, businesses are able to extend their trading hours; increasing profitability. Communities are able to host local events and children are able to play soccer after the sun has gone down. In schools, evening classes can take place and in hospitals, solar-powered lighting enables delivery of healthcare.

Philips Notes: Philips is currently in the midst of its 4th annual Cape Town to Cairo Road Show, where Philips will raise awareness on sustainable healthcare and lighting solutions that help to enhance the quality of life in Africa.

Author’s Note: The Sustainia100 award is a highly respected annual international award given to a solution, technology, or project with a noteworthy potential to help build a more sustainable future. The following is from Sustainia:

Sustainia is a vibrant community of citizens, organizations and companies from all over the world. We believe that change is created bottom-up which is why we listen, discuss and develop our mission in a dialogue with our community.Sustainia100 is an annual guide to 100 innovative solutions from around the world that presents readily available projects, initiatives and technologies at the forefront of sustainable transformation.

Our 2013 edition of Sustainia100 came out on June 9th. Sustainia received 500+ submissions from 79 countries for this year’s guide. The final 100 solutions are deployed in two thirds of the world’s countries – including Kenya, India, Mexico and South Africa, making the Sustainia100 guide reflect innovation from the traditional western hubs as well as parts of the world that are normally not well covered.



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-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website,


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