20 Firms shortlisted for 2018 Ashden Awards

The Ashden Awards are a measure of excellence in the field of sustainable energy. Winners receive support to help scale up their work.

20 Firms shortlisted for 2018 Ashden Awards

Twenty organisations working on the frontline of sustainable energy in the fields of health, cities and buildings, finance, energy access, mobility and powering business have been shortlisted for the 2018 International Ashden Awards.

The Ashden Awards are a globally recognised measure of excellence in the field of sustainable energy and winners receive tailored support to help scale up their work and a prize of up to £20,000.

"The Ashden Awards are in their 18th year and I never fail to be enormously impressed and inspired by the way people around the globe are embracing the very latest technical advances and trends in a bid to bring clean energy to all. This year's shortlisted organisations are an incredibly exciting group, each helping us in different ways to transition to a low carbon world that brings huge environmental, health and economic benefits," said Sarah Butler Sloss, Ashden's Founder Director.

Sustainable Cities

The following organisations are the finalists for the International Sustainable Buildings, UK Sustainable Buildings, UK Clean Air, and International Sustainable Transport and Mobility Awards.

MASS Design Group are at the forefront of Africa's homegrown architecture movement and design innovative buildings, using local materials, that promote health and dignity as well as sharing their knowledge and approach with the next generation of architects.

Passivhaus Homes has simplified and standardised the technical aspects of building new Passivhaus homes by providing all the component parts and technical support needed to build to the standard, resulting in reliable and lasting energy performance as well as high internal thermal comfort levels. 

Q-Bot is able to insulate cold and draughty suspended floors using a robotic device that can remotely apply insulation without needing to lift all the floorboards, thus significantly reducing the cost of installation.

Donkey Republic is an automated self-service bike rental company that offers remote locking. Their hub-centric partner-driven model means that they are able to develop sustainable schemes that fit a city's context and challenges.

Safetipin has developed a mobile app to encourage the uptake of cycling, walking and public transport in 35 cities across ten countries.  The app was designed to address the safety of women in particular and the data collected helps customers to get home safely and the relevant local authorities to make planning improvements.

Shuttl, a company that crowd sources demand for and creates bus routes in Indian cities, especially along commuter routes, providing some 35,000 journeys a day.  Using their app, customers can view timetables, track buses in real time and book seats.

Association la Voate Nubienne, a charity working in West Africa to increase use of the Nubian Vault building technique which is both environmentally friendly and sustainable as it uses pure earth with no need for timber.

Powering Business

Innovative business models and efficiency play a key role in unlocking SDG7's full potential. The following two finalists are shortlisted for the International Powering Business Award.

Ecozen Solutions specializes in portable solar cold rooms which have thermal energy storage and are designed to work even in low sunlight.  The farmers using the cold rooms usually break even after two years and have seen as much as a 40% increase in their profits.

In East Africa, Lean Energy Solutions manufactures briquettes using agricultural waste to power boilers in factories producing consumer goods. Boilers using briquettes are cheaper to run and have a lower carbon footprint than diesel-fired boilers. 


Finance is one of the greatest barriers to energy access and our shortlisted organisations are at the forefront of financial innovation, making clean energy and health benefits affordable to those with lower incomes. The following two organisations are finalists for the International Financial and Business Model Innovation Award.

Angaza, whose expertise in integrating Pay As You Go technology with clean energy products is helping manufacturers and distributors to make sustainable solutions affordable to the world's one billion off-grid customers.

KopaGas has developed the world's first smart liquid petroleum gas (LPG) meter designed to remove barriers to clean cooking in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The technology enables medium and low-income households to switch from dirty and expensive charcoal to much cleaner LPG.


Sustainable energy and health is another focal point of the Awards this year, with organisations working with health centres to provide crucial clean energy. The finalists for the International Sustainable Energy and Health Award are:

Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) is the result of the state energy agency and rural health agency joining forces to install and maintain solar PV systems in almost 900 health centres in central eastern India. CREDA provides health centres with reliable renewable energy ensuring that vaccines don't go off.

The Sure Chill Company, working in 46 countries, uses cooling technology in solar powered medical fridges which are ideal for use in off-grid and emergency settings. No battery is required and the fridges only need four hours' electricity a day to be able to maintain a safe temperature. 

Disrupting the UK Energy Market

In the UK, the energy market is facing imminent change to keep up with the shift to renewables. Four organisations are leaders in innovation and in this energy transition, working towards balancing the overwhelmed grid. The organisations shortlisted for the UK Innovation and UK Energy Market Disruptors Awards are:

Energy Local CIC, which is helping communities in Wales to get more value from small-scale renewable generation by selling the electricity directly to local residents. By creating Energy Local Clubs, the not-for-profit is also helping create green jobs, tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.

Powervault, which has designed a smart energy storage system for the home which helps households to store solar energy and/or off-peak electricity from the grid in order to reduce household energy bills and provide flexibility services to the grid.

Upside Energy Ltd. have created a Virtual Energy Store that enables households and commercial clients to provide flexibility services to National Grid, network operators and energy suppliers, enabling increased renewable energy capacity to be built and infrastructure costs to be minimised.

VCharge, Ovo Smart Heat is retrofitting storage heaters to make them smart so that they can provide the right amount of heat at the right time, improving comfort for residents while saving them money. The upgraded heaters can also offer flexibility services in response to changing grid and market conditions.

Sustainable Energy Access

Internationally, organisations are pushing the boundaries of energy access through effective teamwork. Finalists for the Award for Energy Access Frontiers are:

Lumos Global is the largest provider of off-grid solar in Nigeria offering homes and small businesses a simple affordable way to pay for solar energy in small instalments. The company is currently prioritising the marginalised Niger Delta region and partnering with the largest mobile network operator in the country.

Power for All is working with the public and private sector to deliver access to energy to the 1.1 billion people in rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa without reliable power. They are focused on encouraging investment in, and promoting, decentralised renewables as part of energy policy, building sustainable markets and encouraging consumers to use renewable power. 

Funders for this year's Awards include Citi, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Grosvenor, HSBC, Impax Asset Management, and the Waterloo Foundation.

The shortlisted organisations are now undergoing a rigorous judging process involving a panel of industry experts and technical assessments.  The overall winners will be presented with their Award at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Thursday 14 June.

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