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National ENERGY GLOBE Award Liberia 2014

June 13, 2014

Lighting Liberia
Submitted by: Richard Fahey

With more than 160 participating countries and over 1000 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.

Travelling to Liberia in 2009 with a small group of former Peace Corps Volunteers to assess the needs of the country following 14 years of civil wars, Mr. Fahey identified the lack of access to basic electrical energy as a key barrier to post-conflict reconstruction, adversely impacting all aspects of Liberian lives. Upon return to the US, Mr. Fahey retired from his successful law practice and became an Advanced Leadership lnitiative Fellow at Harvard, where he worked to develop the basic model for LEN.

For the past three years Liberian Energy Network (LEN) has been using a shared value approach to achieve a rapid deployment of solar energy in Liberia. Structured as a non-profit corporation, it uses a business model to cover costs, achieve scale and sustainability serving the base of the economic pyramid. LEN has built a basic business platform to import and distribute solar LED lighting and cell phone charging units approved by the World Bank Lighting Africa Program. LEN has sold nearly 1,500 solar lights to date, is currently importing 5,000 units and projects to distribute over 20,200 solar lights by 2018. This will provide power for over 1 million Liberians, whilst avoiding over 11.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions and generating 5.84 Mwh annually.

Richard Fahey was a US Peace Corps Volunteer working in agriculture and rural development in Liberia in the 1960's. A graduate of San Francisco State University, B.Aa; North-western University School of Law, J.D. and a 2010 Harvard ALI Fellow, he was engaged for nearly 4O years in the public and private practice of Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law. He is founder and CEO of Liberian Energy Network. Richard believes in the basic good and hope of humanity. He strives to empower people to control their own destiny and achieve their human potential. ln the end when LEN achieves its goal he hopes to be loved but not needed.

We all live on this planet together and are interconnected. As a very wise West African Chief noted: "lf you do not share your wealth, you will share our poverty."

Richard Fahey,
National ENERGY GLOBE Award Liberia 2014

Power from the sun is available everywhere and for free to everyone. This year’s National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in Liberia has harnessed this power to bring clean solar light to already more than 1,500 families. This leads to higher productivity of the people, enables children to study at night, reduces the toxic fumes of kerosene lamps that harm women and children, and saves CO2. A win-win situation for both: humans and environment. Congratulations for your achievements!