1 February 2012 – MWH sustainable engineering company has donated $US50,000 to The Energy and Resources Institute to bring solar lighting to rural India.

The institute supports the Lighting a Billion Lives program which sets up a solar charging station in energy poor villages and offers solar lanterns for rent to the local community – reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 750 tonnes over the solar lantern’s useful life of 10 years.

In India 61 million rural households use kerosene and wicker lamps for lighting. Inadequate lighting has a direct impact on the livelihood, health, environment and safety of these rural residents, MWH said in a media statement.

Each village charging station is managed and operated by a local entrepreneur who leases the lanterns to village residents for an affordable fee, creating opportunities for renewable energy education and entrepreneurship in the villages.

The donation supports MWH’s partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative.