Robert Slattery is a writer living in Western North Carolina. He enjoys music and all sorts of other things.
Environment – The developing world has caught on to something the “developed” world is having only mixed success with: alternative energy. It’s not without its maintenance needs though, and poverty forces the hand of innovation — a place where Kenya really shines.
As solar power is fairly cheap and small scale, it serves the needs of small and poor communities, but the materials are too rare and too hard to come by to provide decent, sustainable service. To solve the problem of maintenance and part availability, Access:energy, an energy co-op, is helping to change that by introducing Kenyans to wind power.
The group is training Kenyan technicians to build wind turbines out of scrap parts. The design, which the company has deemed the first “commercially viable, zero-import wind turbine” is straightforward enough to be teachable and powerful enough to offer up enough power to fill the needs of roughly 50 rural homes. What’s more, it offers a wide variety of uses, including “giving clinics enough power to keep vaccines cool, providing non-polluting…light for kids who want to study, and providing refrigeration for fishermen.” These turbines can assist in fulfilling practical needs that will make living easier and better for Kenyans.