This is a radically simple solution to a massive problem. The GravityLight eliminates carbon emissions, provides a safe, burn-free light source, and the device is cost-efficient. Replacing the cost of kerosene means the lamp will pay for itself within two to three months, helping poverty-stricken families ease dependency on fuel.

Originally sponsored by a pitch on the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, the prototype has been tested over the last few years in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. “We have since then been on a swift path to production to take it to scale with a significantly lower cost. [The updated model] is more robust, more effective, more efficient, and the design has been configured to be more easily usable for women and children,” said Reeves. The founders launched a second Indiegogo pitch to scale production of the updated model.

Image for article titled Turns out the answer to helping end energy poverty could be ready at the drop of a weight

Shell’s Springboard award exists to throw its weight behind bright energy ideas just like these—ideas that can make an immediate, tangible difference. Over the last ten years, the fund has helped 86 small and medium-sized enterprises expand their vision for reducing carbon emissions. Recognizing the need for action today, Shell’s aim is to rapidly push forward production on market-ready products.

Last year the team behind the GravityLight was named the 2015 Shell Springboard National Winner. That win earned them an £150,000 award to help scale the business, which means the light can do good work much sooner and at a grander scale. The IFC-World Bank Lighting Global program found that replacing all kerosene lamps in use with off-grid lighting would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by the equivalent of approximately 5 percent. For a country like India, that could potentially mean an approximate 12% annual reduction.

An extra hour of light a day will improve lives enormously. Children can study longer, adults can work an extra hour, and families can live safely, brightly, and begin to work free from the burden of energy poverty.

This article was produced on behalf of Shell by the Quartz marketing team and not by the Quartz editorial staff.

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