Panasonic Hits 50,000 Mark In Quest To Distribute 100,000 Solar Lanterns In Poor, Rural Communities Throughout World

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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.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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2 thoughts on “Panasonic Hits 50,000 Mark In Quest To Distribute 100,000 Solar Lanterns In Poor, Rural Communities Throughout World

  • What an awful news. Does Panasonic realize that the e.g. 8914 lanterns in Cambodia are a significant part of the market there and that they are killing business for local entrepreneurs trying to make a living?

    It would be so nice if Panasonic would shift there efforts in to setting up a dealer network, supporting the local market and with that sustainable growth. Now they are dumping their lanterns, this gives a few families a bit of light but it gives no one a better life.

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