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Panasonic unveils 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project

Panasonic unveils 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project
Children using a solar lantern to study at home (Tanzania). Photo by Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is set to distribute 100,000 solar L.E.D. lanterns to people in electricity scarce regions across the world by 2018 to mark the company’s centennial anniversary.

The 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project aims to help address many of the problems in non-electrified areas by using solar lanterns that can generate electricity from sunlight during the day and store it in a battery to serve as small lighting fixtures at night.

According to Panasonic, there are about 1.32 billion people worldwide, particularly in developing countries in Asia and Africa, who have no access to electricity. Most of the households in these regions depend on kerosene lamps for lighting, but these lamps pose the risk of fire and affect human health.

“The lack of electric light in these regions means challenges in the areas of healthcare, education and the economy,” said Panasonic.

To jump start the project, the Japanese multinational distributed 3,000 compact solar lights to non profit organizations and nongovernmental organizations in Myanmar. The country’s electrification rate is one of the lowest in Asia at just 13 percent, jeopardizing its economic development.

The electronics company will donate another 5,000 compact solar lights to an N.G.O. in India and 2,000 lights to a refugee camp in Africa by next month.

The 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project was based on the company’s previous efforts, in which it donated 1,000 solar L.E.D. lanterns to Tanzania through a United Nation agency in April 2011 and 2,000 lanterns to Cambodia through an N.G.O. in March 2012.

“[T]he firm belief that these lanterns can play a major role in helping to solve social issues in developing countries and newly emerging economies,” stressed Panasonic.

Panasonic seeks to become the global leader in green innovation in the electronics industry by 2018, with continuous efforts to donate solar lanterns to developing countries and emerging countries in Asia and Africa. – C. Dominguez



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