The electronics giant Panasonic recently hit the 50,000-solar-lanterns-distributed mark in its quest to distribute more than 100,000 solar lanterns throughout the world’s poor, rural communities that don’t have reliable access to electric light, according to recent reports.
The news means that the program — known as the “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project” — is now half-way to completion. The Japanese company’s aim is reportedly to hit the 100,000 solar-lanterns-distributed mark by 2018.
The program is focused on efforts in 16 different countries, including: Myanmar, Kenya, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and others. To date, Panasonic has distributed more than 9,464 solar lanterns in Myanmar; 14,006 in India; 6,008 in Kenya; 8,914 in Cambodia; and many other elsewhere. Altogether, the company has donated to more than 80 different organizations in 16 different countries. The program began back in February 2013, with the donation of 3,000 solar lanterns to organizations in Myanmar.
The donated solar lanterns are largely intended to offset the use of expensive, dangerous, and polluting kerosene lamps. Replacing the kerosene lamps in common use throughout much of the “developing world” with solar lanterns represents a relatively cheap way of greatly reducing health risks and unnecessary costs for those living in poverty in the rural areas of many countries.
As it stands, there are more than 1.2 billion people in the world without reliable access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The solar lanterns distributed by Panasonic — the BG-BL03 and the BG-BL04 — both have an estimated battery life of around 2 years, and estimated product life of around 10 years, and a charging time of around 6 hours.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book
Our Latest EVObsession Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.