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Global LEAP Awards Outstanding Off-grid Solar Lighting Products

19 December 2012: The Clean Energy Ministerial's (CEM) Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) has announced the laureates of the Lighting Global Outstanding Product Awards, which recognizes sustainable off-grid solar lighting products for people without access to electricity in developing countries.

The awards were given to the following solar lighting kits: the Marathoner Beacon MB2 090 (Africa)/SooLED B1 (Asia) in the budget category (under $30); the Greenlight Planet's Sun King Pro in the mid-range category ($30-$72); and the Marathoner Beacon MB2 380 (Africa)/SooLED B3 (Asia) in the premium category ($72-$135). Products were assessed on technical performance and durability, end-user acceptance, affordability, and environmental sustainability.

"These awards showcase manufacturers' ability to bring to market products that are both high-quality and affordable as substitutes for kerosene lighting," noted Graham Pugh, director of the Office of International Climate Change Policy and Technology at the US Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE partly sponsored the awards ceremony as part of its involvement in Global LEAP, and announced plans for Global LEAP to hold similar competitions in 2013, and in 2014 expand into competitions for off-grid televisions.

The 2012 awards were announced during the Third International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Trade Fair in Dakar, Senegal, on 14 November 2012. The jury consisted of experts from the UN Foundation, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University, and the World Bank Group's Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia programs. Global LEAP's aim, as part of the CEM, is to replace fossil fuel-based lighting with solar lighting for 10 million people within five years. [CEM Press Release] [Global LEAP website]