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LSE student's energy project awarded United Nations Momentum for Change award

Pollinate Energy, a social business co-founded by LSE student Katerina Kimmorley, has been named as a Lighthouse Activity under the 2013 United Nations Momentum for Change Awards.

Pollinate EnergyThe project, which aims to improve energy poverty by providing the urban poor with access to sustainable products, is co-founded by Katerina Kimmorley, who is currently a PhD student at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and who formed the idea while studying for a master's at the School.

Pollinate Energy trains members of the local community to distribute and install solar lighting systems as micro-entrepreneurs, or what the organisation calls “Pollinators.” These Pollinators are armed with the best solar systems on the market and sell them to families within their communities. The company was awarded the UN prize just four days after its first birthday.

PollinateEnergyLogoThe company was conceived in 2012, when Katerina Kimmorley travelled to Bangalore to research the value of distributing renewable energy solutions in urban slums for her LSE master’s thesis in Environmental Economics and Climate Change at LSE. Her research, investigating the value of distributing renewable energy solutions to urban slums in Bangalore, led to the creation of Pollinate Energy, which is currently active in 250 communities across Bangalore, and will expand to other Indian cities in 2014. She is now back at the School pursuing a doctorate in Environmental Economics.

Katerina Kimmorley said: “In Bangalore’s slums, children cannot do their homework after the sun sets for lack of light, and families spend a significant percentage of their humble incomes on polluting kerosene lamps. Pollinate Energy aims to bring solar energy to the urban poor. It also creates green jobs by training ‘pollinators’, locals who distribute and install solar lighting systems within their communities, so we are thrilled to have been recognised with this award, which aims to shine a light on the wide range of activities underway across the globe aiming for a low-carbon, resource-efficient world.”

The 2013 Lighthouse Activities were selected by a 16-member, international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

Pollinate Energy, along with 16 other activities, is being showcased this month during the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland.

More on Pollinate Energy can be seen at http://pollinateenergy.org 

A short video about Pollinate Energy can be viewed here  

Read more on Pollinate Energy on India at LSE.


12 November 2013