Every day as the sun sets around the world, 1.3 billion1 people without electricity either live in darkness or expose their families to the hazards of kerosene lighting.2,3 This year Energizer and Ascent Solar will be changing that scene for many rural families as they team up to donate 13 million hours of solar light working with the global nonprofit One Million Lights.
Energizer chose Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. to be the solar panel provider for the donated Energizer lanterns and lights because of Ascent's award-winning, flexible thin-film technology and interest in using their transformational technology to benefit families in developing nations. Unlike other traditional solar solutions, Ascent's CIGS technology is both flexible and rugged, ensuring that the lighting system will remain operational even in extreme conditions. Additionally the lightweight attributes of Ascent's state-of-the-art photovoltaic modules enable the entire system to be far more portable than systems that use traditional crystalline-based technology.
The Ascent Solar panels will be used in a 7-LED Energizer® Rechargeable Lantern and a 4-LED Energizer® Rechargeable Area Light. Both solar solutions provide a safe, cost-effective alternative to traditional kerosene lamps for rural families.
"Many families living without electricity spend up to half of their income on kerosene lighting, which provides inadequate illumination, is hazardous to a family's health and poor for the environment," said Anna Sidana, founder of One Million Lights. "The solar lights provided by Energizer and Ascent will not only help families save money but allow them to work, study and play a little longer each day, helping to increase their overall quality of life."
The mission of One Million Lights is to improve the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy solar lighting through its international distribution programs. Energizer began working with One Million Lights in 2011 with the launch of the Energizer Night Race for a Brighter World, a global series of nighttime running events where participants raced at night by the light of an Energizer headlight to raise awareness for the global need for safe, affordable lighting. In its first year, the Energizer Night Race for a Brighter World featured more than 30 races in 20 countries, donating 11 million hours of solar light. In 2012, Energizer donated an additional 12 million hours of solar light through its support of One Million Lights.
Its work with One Million Lights is part of a philosophy at Energizer called "that's positivenergy™," which represents a commitment to product performance combined with programs and partnerships that make a positive impact on the world.
The Energizer and Ascent Solar lighting systems will begin being distributed to families in the summer of 2013. For more information, go to www.ascentsolar.com, www.energizerglobalnightrace.com and www.onemillionlights.org.