Off-Grid Technology Perspectives: The Case of the Solar Lantern

About this Webinar:

Solar lanterns are touted as a cost-saving and clean alternative to kerosene lighting by aid agencies and social business ventures. Data supports this claim, but are solar lanterns really effective in enabling users “up the energy ladder” and alleviating energy poverty? Or are these small-scale, pico solar solutions deterring off-grid communities from pursuing alternatives such as solar home systems? Join us as we explore these questions and more with our off-grid electrification expert panel as they share their perspectives on these ‘go-to’ technologies in global development.



Gaurav Manchanda is CEO of One Degree Solar. The company has investors, clients, and partnerships with Schneider Electric, Coca-Cola, IFC, the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, and the United Nations Foundation. Previously, Gaurav spent years in post-conflict Liberia as Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Health, a position sponsored by the Clinton Foundation. In this role, Gaurav secured $10M in emergency funding from the World Bank, and led initiatives that provided solar energy and electronic information systems to off-grid health clinics. In addition, Gaurav has advised the Liberian Rural and Renewable Energy Agency and written publications for the USAID Powering Health Initiative.


Harald Schützeichel founded several pioneering companies and organisations, working for social, economical and environmental development: Stiftung Solarenergie – Solar Energy Foundation, SunTransfer GmbH and Sun-Connect eG. He created an innovative holistic approach, which combines the social sustainability of non-profit-organisations with the financial sustainability of business companies. Before entering the work in and for developing countries, Harald was Co-founder and CEO of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG, an international solar PV multivendor company. Founded in 1998, Solarstrom AG is one of the pioneers of the German solar sector.


Ned Tozun co-founded d.light in 2007 and has served as its President since then. Ned partnered with Sam to secure private investment for the company, built up the manufacturing operations, and oversaw the expansion of distribution into over 40 countries. Ned has been recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s top 30 social entrepreneurs and was selected as an Asia 21 Young Leader by the Asia Society. Prior to d.light, Ned founded several consumer product start-ups in Silicon Valley. His most recent position was as CEO and founder of a media technology company, where he designed and patented technology used to develop several products launched in the mobile content and specialty gift markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Ned graduated from Stanford with degrees in Computer Science and Earth Systems, and returned to Stanford to earn his MBA.



Building on his work catalyzing sustainable clean energy market development for more than 25 years, Russell Sturm leads IFC’s energy access advisory work.  Russell’s work mobilizing commercial clean energy and energy efficiency financing with partner banks catalyzed IFC’s current $.5 billion annual business in new sustainable energy investment through banks.  His innovations in market transformation programs, including Lighting Africa and the Efficient Lighting Initiative provide the model for IFC’s advisory services programs to accelerate uptake of climate-friendly technology and expand access to energy.  Prior to joining IFC, Russell was President of the International Institute for Energy Conservation and before that was Vice-President of Energy Management Services, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member