Panasonic will celebrate its 100th anniversary by donating 100,000 solar lanterns to help some of the one billion people without access to electricity in developing countries across Asia and Africa by 2018. The company has already donated 3,000 lanterns to non-profit organizations in Myanmar and 5,000 lanterns to those in India over the last couple of months, and a refugee camp in Kenya is set to receive 2,000 lanterns in the coming weeks.
Over a billion of people living in developing countries across the world don’t have access to electricity. Many rely upon dangerous kerosene lamps for lighting, which emit hazardous fumes and generate 190 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Solar lanterns could have life-changing impacts on poor communities and people living in rural areas as an affordable, non-toxic source of power which cuts the consumption of fossil fuels and reduces air pollution.
The Indian government has so far invested $10 million as subsidies for projects that helped expand the use of solar lanterns. Solar home-lighting systems were installed in village households across the country, as an eco-friendly and off-grid alternative to uncertain electricity supplies.
As a way of reducing dependence on hazardous kerosene Panasonic has already donated 1,000 lanterns to Tanzania and 2,000 to poor communities in Cambodia, which resulted in significant financial savings, according to the company’s reports.