03 May 2012 - Over 30% of rural Peruvians lack electricity, limiting opportunities and exacerbating poverty. Many of these off-grid homes dot the high Andes, making conventional grid extension difficult and costly. Yet these same rural mountain communities are blessed with a potentially huge source of energy: wind; one which companies like Green Empowerment are helping them to exploit.
Green Empowerment, along with its in-country partners, has been providing these villages with access to clean water and renewable energy such as solar, micro-hydro, biogas and most recently, wind power. Green Empowerment has worked with its partner, Soluciones Practicas, to install a range of innovative small-scale wind projects in Peru, each with its own story of technological evolution and humanitarian impact. To further promote the whole field of small wind, an international WindWorks Symposium was organised recently to share information from these and other wind projects around the world.
Small wind projects can be an excellent option for off-grid communities. Wind turbines can be locally manufactured while solar panels are only manufactured in a few countries. The existence of local manufacturers has the added advantages of easing system maintenance and promoting local economic development. The life-changing benefits for rural families can be dramatic:
Providing higher-quality lighting, replacing smoky kerosene lamps and candles;
Extending the productive hours of the day and allowing children to do homework;
Increasing access to communication such as radio, television and cell phones;
Boosting the local economy by powering small machinery for local enterprises and local products;
Improving health by refrigerating vaccines and powering medical devices;
Making computers for schools available
Locally-made wind turbines from Andean peaks to coastal deserts read more>>>