The Climate Group awarded US$3.5 million funding to bring light to India's rural communities

Clare Saxon Ghauri
22 February 2013

LONDON: The Climate Group has been awarded US$3.5 million funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to deliver Bringing Light to India’s Rural Poor.

The Climate Group will work in ten villages, across three Indian states, over two years to deploy renewable energy technologies, improve infrastructure and simultaneously mitigate the effects of climate change.

One of the project’s key aims is to establish a model that others can adopt, scale up and administer. The Climate Group is continuing to seek additional funding and support from partners for the project.

The Climate Group has been working in India for over four years; its most recent projects include Lightsavers, which saw the organization pilot low carbon LED lighting in cities including Haldia, Kolkata and Thane.

As a result of the findings, Kolkata is scaling-up its pilot (from 115 luminaires to 14,400 in the course of the next two years) and the pilot continues to receive plaudits, most recently winning the Frost & Sullivan India LED Lighting Market Excellence Awards for inspiring LED scale-up across the country.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, says: “This crucial funding will enable us to ensure that over 5,000 Indians across ten villages will have access to clean, sustainable energy which will drastically improve the safety and quality of their lives. We hope that this project will then be replicated by organizations and governments across the world, accelerating the scale-up of low carbon technologies and enabling a Clean Revolution.”

Judith Lingeman, Head of the Charity Department at the Dutch Postcode Lottery, says: “Two-thirds of India’s residents, mainly in the countryside, have no access to electricity at all. India’s rapid economic growth means that most of the country’s rural areas will soon get electricity – from coal-fired plants. We have to find ways to ensure that energy access doesn’t burden the natural environment. We are delighted that the funding we have made available to The Climate Group is going to have real, tangible difference to people’s lives and showcase how economic growth in developing countries can be coupled achieved in a sustainable way.”

Through the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the Dutch public have been instrumental in The Climate Group’s success, funding the organization for over six years. The funding for Bringing Light to India’s Rural Poor will ensure that this relationship continues to make a tangible impact on the lives of people who need it the most.

The funding was announced at the Nationale Postcode Lottery’s annual ‘Goed Geld Gala’ (Good Money Gala) which was held in Amsterdam on February 13, and attended by and keynote speaker, Bill Clinton. At the Gala, the Netherlands' largest charity lottery announced it would donate a record €291 million to charitable organizations thanks to its 2.5 million players.

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