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Impact Week & the Sustainable Development Goals

It’s impact week! It’s that time of the year when we share with you all the amazing things you’ve helped achieve over the last 12 months. We’ve put together our latest impact report to keep you abreast of the latest developments and to give you something to share with your friends, so they can see the amazing impact of solar lights for themselves.

This is a very special edition as it celebrates the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in which 193 world leaders will commit to ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and fixing climate change. These goals are going to be big news over the next 15 years and could change the future of the planet forever. Check out this video to get a better idea of what it’s all about.

Our work building markets for solar lights in rural communities directly underpins goal 7, but also helps meet a number of other SDGs. Be sure to read our Impact Report to find out more.

The last financial year saw some pretty big milestones for our social enterprise, SunnyMoney. With your help, they successfully catalysed one frontier market in Tanzania where light sales and investment are at unprecedented levels, and took great strides towards a second in Kenya. You may also recall back in April we released news of SunnyMoney solar lights reaching 10 million people. That’s a whole lot of kerosene lamps in the bin.

This achievement really is remarkable and just goes to show that this mix of philanthropy and enterprise is a really effective way of improving the lives of millions of people at relatively little cost. So thanks once again for showing your support, and helping kick start solar markets across Sub Saharan Africa.

Over the last 12 months we were finalists in the Zayed Future Energy Prize, highly commended in the Unilever Global Development Award and received a platinum rating for GIIRS for our impact measurement. SunnyMoney once again broke their own sales records, shifting 620,000 solar lights in remote communities – many of which were hours from the nearest town with little or no infrastructure.

 

Impact Report 2015: Solar lights and the SDGs

But it is the next 12 months that promise to be the most challenging for SunnyMoney and SolarAid. With the success of catalysing the Tanzanian market, and the resulting surge in awareness, demand, and ultimately competition, comes a fresh set of challenges. The market in Tanzania has evolved so much over the last 12 months that we are having to look carefully at our position within it. More on this to follow tomorrow.

It is clear that both SolarAid and SunnyMoney will have to adapt to an ever changing off-grid energy market, ensuring that at all times we are best placed to help as many people access safe, clean energy for the first time. It is with this in mind that we begin to put into place a new strategy and realign our efforts to provide a bigger focus on our core on-the-ground operations.

As a result of this refocus we are exploring the possibility of finding a new home for our award winning Policy and Research teams so that they can continue with their vital work for the benefit of the sector as a whole.

We will share more on this strategic refocus over the forthcoming weeks. But for now, let’s celebrate the amazing insights and contributions of our research and policy teams. With energy access set to become even bigger news over the next few months, we need your support more than ever.

Thanks for staying with us on this journey and be sure to share our impact report.