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Press release: Public support provides February 2016 kick-off for community solar projects in Africa

LONDON, U.K., 18 DECEMBER 2015 – INTASAVE Energy, a global not-for-profit and environmental enterprise, has successfully reached its $100,000 crowdfunding target that will see the installation of the first Solar Nano Grids (SONGs) in the villages of Lemolo B and Echareria in Kenya, each of which will service the needs of at least 250 people. This is the first major milestone for the project that aims to reach over 500 communities across Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique within three years, transforming the lives of up to 250,000 people, as part of INTASAVE Energy’s vision for every person on the planet to have access to clean, reliable and affordable power.
Having passed the $100,000 target, INTASAVE Energy is extending the deadline to January 1st 2016 to allow further contributions to be made through its not-for-profit crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo
The more funding we can raise at this stage, the more solar nano grids we can roll out to communities in Africa. Anyone can contribute from as little as $10 to help families in off-grid communities not only with household electricity, but to be able to mill corn, incubate chickens, run water pumps and manage micro enterprises, in a clean and sustainable way using SONGs – electricity is essential for development,” said Arran de Moubray, Head of Renewable Energy, INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, adding “Kenya was chosen as an ideal starting point in Africa because 30 million people (75% of the population) in Kenya are without electricity, 95% of whom are located in off-grid rural areas, which are simply not viable for larger solar installations”. 
SONGs reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the use of kerosene for lighting and diesel for power generation. School children doing their homework will face less health risks to eyes and lungs as solar power removes the need for kerosene lamps in the home. SONGs also open up micro-enterprise opportunities that will help rural communities become self-sustaining, by providing power for small-scale industrial activity such as milling corn, incubating chickens for breeding, battery charging, refrigeration, copper welding and businesses like hair salons and internet hubs.  
INTASAVE Energy is working with local communities, national and regional partners identifying hundreds of appropriate locations for the SONGs using a range of technical, geographical, socio-economic and livelihood criteria. 
Speaking on the success of the project, Dr Murray Simpson, Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, and Chief Executive Officer of INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, said: “This project is not about generating a short-term fix or a handout, it’s genuinely empowering people to make their lives better, so reaching our target is a fantastic achievement. It is vitally important to us that each installation provides a self-sustaining beneficial enterprise for families and the local communities, and this long-term approach is why our project is going to succeed where other attempts have struggled to deliver.” Murray concluded: “This is just the beginning, and we envision this growing into a large scalable project on a global level.
The INTASAVE Energy Indiegogo campaign is still live. All project backers can either donate or choose a ‘perk’, ranging from information packs to limited edition team-building trips to Kenya. Contributions can be made here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-nano-grids-songs-power-to-the-people#/ 

About INTASAVE Energy
INTASAVE Energy is part of the INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, a global not-for-profit and environmental enterprise. INTASAVE Energy exists to create a brighter future for the 1.2 billion people living without electricity in extreme poverty around the world. The team delivers innovation, bright ideas and practical solutions which provide dual wins for people and the planet. INTASAVE Energy provides lighting and power, with wider benefits to health, economies, environment, empowerment and education.
INTASAVE Energy focuses on off-grid power generation within Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific using renewable energy to electrify rural communities. They have designed a number of solar-based energy products including nano-grids and central recharging hubs, which offer a full range of solutions for community based power, with a strong focus on agri-processing (grain grinding machinery and irrigation) and refrigeration for medicines and milk. INTASAVE Energy is also able to offer non-solar generation, and is currently working on micro-hydro power in Guyana and Lesotho, as well as grid-connected recharging hubs in Kenyan schools. For more information about INTASAVE Energy please visit http://www.intasave.org/What-We-Do_Low-Carbon-Development-and-Renewable-Energy.html 

About The INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group
The INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group is a global not-for-profit and environmental enterprise that innovates, connects and implements practical solutions for sustainable development and climate change. At the heart of what we do lies our in-depth understanding and appreciation of the unique cultural, political, environmental and social context of the countries in which we work. 
For more information about INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE please visit:
Website: www.intasave.org
Twitter: @INTASAVEenergy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IntasaveCaribsave/

Media contacts
Carolyn Devadawson / Katie Ward
Wildfire PR
intasave@wildfirepr.com
+ 44 208 408 8000
or Shona Maguire at shona.maguire@intasave-caribsave.org or Sheila Lashford at sheila.lashford@intasave-caribsave.org 

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