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The Power of the Sun Changes Lives In Africa-VIDEO

Solar Powered LED Lights change the way people live, work and learn in Africa and around the world. Approximately 1.6 billion people in the world today have no access to electricity, something that a lot of us take for granted. The folks at Philips report that they are are using the power of the sun to change this. They plan to install 100 Philips Community Light Centers across Africa by 2015.

Royal Philips is proud to announce that its Community Light Center solution has been recognized as one of the 100 most innovative sustainable solutions globally for positive social, economic and environmental impact on local communities by Sustainia100.

Business and trade prospers even after the sun goes down in Africa thanks to Philips solar-powered  LED lighting. | © Royal Philips

Philips’ Community Light Centers are areas of 1,000 square meters, about the size of a small soccer pitch and are lit by a new generation of highly efficient solar powered LED lighting systems. This enables life after dark for communities disadvantaged by lack of power and light. The Philips solution is now a nominee for the Sustainia Award later this year.

About 20% of all people across the globe don’t have access to reliable lighting. Sustainable innovation in solar-powered LED lighting in Africa enables social and economic development in such areas to continue after dark, whether education, healthcare, community activity such as sports, or business and training.

In essence access to lighting opens up the pathway to a better quality of life. We are very proud that our Community Light Center solution has been nominated to the Sustainia100 list. –Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public Affairs at Philips Lighting.

Philips Community Light Centers enable schoolwork to continue after dark across Africa. | © Royal Philips

Philips’ Community Light Center is a highly sustainable solution that requires no investment in costly grid infrastructure and utilizes the latest technology to minimize the solution’s carbon footprint. For example, batteries for the solar-powered lighting will last 4-5 years and are buried underground. Intelligent controls maximize the efficiency of the batteries while the LED lights offer high quality light (up to 20 LUX).

Congratulations to the Sustainia100 for 2013. They are the true action heroes of sustainability. From Canada to Kenya to Guatemala to India, these solutions are proving that we can build communities that are both environmentally and economically sustainable today and for generations to come. –Former Governor of California and Honorary Chair of Sustainia Award, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

During the next two years, Philips’ goal is to install 100 Philips Community Light Centers across 12 countries in Africa. Philips’ Community Light Centers bring many benefits to local communities by enabling community life after dark. For example, businesses are able to extend their trading hours; increasing profitability. Communities are able to host local events and children are able to play soccer after the sun has gone down. In schools, evening classes can take place and in hospitals, solar-powered lighting enables delivery of healthcare.

Sustainia100 is an annual guide to global sustainable innovation by international institute Sustainia.

Philips are currently in the midst of their 4th annual Cape Town to Cairo Road Show, where Philips will raise awareness on sustainable healthcare and lighting solutions that help to enhance the quality of life in Africa.

By Amber Archangel

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