Costa Rican solar company up for a global green award

Enertiva has designed solar water heaters to enable Costa Rican dairy farmers to wash their milking equipment with hot water, which makes increases the value of the milk.

Central American renewable energy company Enertiva has been selected as a finalist in the 2015 Ashden Awards. The company has designed solar water heaters to enable Costa Rican dairy farmers to wash their milking equipment with hot water, which makes increases the value of the milk.

Now in their 15th year, the Ashden Awards celebrate pioneering businesses and organisations that are helping tackle climate change and improving people's lives. Enertiva could win up to £40,000 and global recognition as one of 2015's sustainable energy trailblazers at a prestigious awards ceremony in London on 11 June.

With electricity costs so high in Costa Rica, heating water to wash milking equipment and milk tanks is extremely expensive for the country's small farmers, reducing their incomes. Enertiva developed the solar water heaters especially for the dairy farmers, teaming up with the milk-purchasing cooperative Dos Pinos, which lends the farmers the money to buy the heaters. With the costs of the heaters paid back within a year from the saving in electricity, greater prosperity is coming to both the farmers and their communities.

Alejandro Brenes and Hans Winiker, founders of Enertiva said:
"We are deeply honoured to be shortlisted for the International Ashden Awards. We believe that Central America can, not only implement, but also develop, innovative renewable energy solutions. This recognition sends a strong signal to policy makers and consumers about the potential of renewable energy in the region."

The other finalists for the 2015 International Awards are: Greenlight Planet, BURN Manufacturing, Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal, Sarhad Rural Support Programme, SunBest, Steamaco, Bright Green Energy Foundation, Vo Trong Nghia and Mahindra Lifespaces. The 2015 Ashden UK and Travel Awards shortlist were announced on 10 March.

Said Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Founder Director: "At Ashden we focus on rewarding sustainable energy game-changers that are addressing two of the most pressing challenges of our time: climate change and poverty. This year our 21 finalists from four continents are dramatically cutting carbon emissions, boosting local economies, reducing poverty and making a real difference to people's lives."

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