Panasonic Develops Solar Lantern for People Living without Elect

Panasonic Develops Solar Lantern for People Living without Electricity 
Osaka, May 13, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) -  Panasonic Corporation today announced
that it has developed a solar lantern that doubles as a charger for people
living without electricity. With a built-in rechargeable battery to store solar
energy during the day, the lantern provides light at night and can also be used
as a power source to charge small mobile devices like mobile phones. The
company plans to bring the lantern to the market in autumn this year after
conducting marketing research in off-grid areas in Asia and Africa. A prototype
of the new solar lantern will be displayed at official side events(1) at the
5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) to be held
from June 1 to 3, 2013 in Yokohama. Panasonic will introduce the product to a
variety of stakeholders joining the TICAD V. 
About 1.32 billion people(2), or approximately 20%(2) of the world's
population, are still living without electricity. Many of these people use
kerosene lamps for lighting. However, kerosene lamps not only fail to provide
sufficient light but also emit toxic fumes and pose a fire risk. In addition,
people living off-grid are facing a problem of charging their mobile phones,
which have become a popular communication tool for them. 
To meet those challenges, Panasonic has developed the new solar lantern that
provides clean and safe lighting and a power source. Gearing up for the planned
product launch this autumn, the company will further refine the solar lantern
to make it practical and convenient for everyday use by taking into account
such specifications as brightness, charging time and battery run time in
addition to the charging function for mobile phones and other small devices. 
Besides selling at retail stores, Panasonic will make the product available to
the wider public through the utilization of support programs offered by
governments and international organizations and tie-ups with NPOs, NGOs and
other social groups in efforts to contribute to the development of society.
Starting with the solar lantern, its first product for BOP markets, Panasonic
will continue to accelerate the development of BOP markets and strengthen
marketing activities and product development to help improve the lives of
people in regions without electricity.
 Panasonic launched last year the "100 Thousand Solar Lantern
Project" as part of its corporate citizenship activities, aiming to donate
a total of 100,000 solar electric lights(3) to people in regions of the world
without electricity by 2018, the 100th anniversary of the company's
founding, through local social institutions including NPOs and NGOs. 
(1) TICAD is a policy forum where diverse stakeholders participate in and
share their expertise in regard with African development. Through official side
events (May 30 to June 3, 2013), all the TICAD participants can have an
opportunity to exchange opinions related to African developments.
(2) IEA World Energy Outlook, 2012
(3) In 2012, the first year of the project, Panasonic donated compact solar
lights, instead of solar lanterns.
(4)  BOP refers to the Base of the Pyramid, the low-income group in developing
countries. BOP markets have unique aspects in which companies can contribute to
solving social problems in these markets while pursuing added business value by
serving the markets. 
Official side events (product exhibition) 
1. A booth at "African Fair 2013" (From May 30 to June 2, 2013)
Organizers: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan External Trade
Organization (JETRO) 
2. A booth of at "TICAD V" (From May 31 to June 3, 2013)
Organizer: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan 
Official side events (lecture & presentation) 
1. A lecture at JICA seminar (June 1, 2013)
Organizer: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) 
2. A presentation at the symposium on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV
transmission, a TICAD V program
Organizer: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan 
100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project: 
The 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V): 
About Panasonic 
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture
of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components &
devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded
consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012.
Panasonic's stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York
(NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1
Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its
founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment
to sustainability, visit the company's website at 
Panasonic Corporation
Tokyo Public Relations Office
Tel: +81-3-3574-5664
Fax: +81-3-3574-5699 
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