Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
Every project we implement will benefit a community, group of individuals or a business. The provision of light enables people to work late at night, enjoy the pleasures of the radio and television and gain access to computers and the internet which can facilitate a thirst for new information, education and greater awareness of the world.
Two wind turbines has been installed so far. The first for a small Scallop Farming business on the coast of Puerto Morin (near Trujillo). Their property is not connected to an electricity supply and so the wind turbine has allowed them to power computers, lights on phones required for an operating business. In the first year of the wind turbines use, the business saved over $6,000 on fuel costs (compared to using a diesel generator). The business is now thriving and has over 60 employees from the surrounding communities.
Three wind turbine installations are planned in 2010, providing electricity for schools in three different communities in the north of Peru. In 2011 we are planning to provide wind turbines to more than 10 communities.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
Primarily, our innovation (an affordable wind turbine) is addressing the need of electricity for communities across Peru who currently have no access to power. A wind turbine can be deployed in remote locations and act as a stand alone energy source. The national electricity grid cannot reach many of these remote locations and so our wind turbine offers an affordable solution.
However, more than just providing electricity, the wind turbine offers an affordable source of electricity. The cost per kWh of the wind turbine (0.10 $/kWh) can strongly compete with grid prices (0.115 $/kWh) and is significantly lower than the price of using a diesel generator (1.73 $/kWh). The financial payback of a wind turbine against a generator is less than 1 year (for a 20 year life span). This is also a very attractive solution for many businesses in Peru, who currently rely on generators as a power source. The ability to reduce your energy bills can significantly aid progress and expansion of a business and increase competitiveness (thus creating more jobs for local people).
The use of wind energy also plays its part in tackling climate change. Each installed wind turbine reduces carbon emissions by 20,884 kgCO2 in its life time (20 years). If each community used wind energy instead of generators, they would all be contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping conserve the local and global environment. The public also becomes more alert to the problem climate change poses to the country of Peru and helps improve awareness that affordable and readily available solutions (wind turbines) do exist in the market.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
To make the innovation and projects a success, we are working on two fronts. The first is community involvement in the project. Working with other NGOs in Peru we search for suitable communities in Peru. Once we find a community who has wind conditions sufficient for wind energy, a project can move ahead. The community are involved in every stage of the project, from what the turbine powers to where it is located. Members of the community are then involved in the manufacturing of the wind turbine with us and the volunteers in Trujillo. This gives them the opportunity to better understand how the wind turbine works and prepare them for any maintenance of the wind turbine in the future. It also gives the volunteers and the community member(s) a chance to get to know each other and learn more about different cultures.
As an organisation, we aim to provide a foundation for communities to improve their quality of life. We offer the service of electricity and with this the community can explore how to best use it to their benefit, whether that be computers and internet for the school (to also be used by the community) or possibly lights to work at night. We don't want to be the change but only provide a foundation for the opportunity to create change.
The second is the fabrication and further development of the wind turbine design. With every volunteer group we host, we challenge them to improve and advance the wind turbine design where they see an opportunity. Many of the volunteers are engineering or skilled students or professionals and so we are able to use their knowledge to work together and provide a better wind turbine design in the future.
Our business model is simple. Volunteers pay a fee to participate in our projects and inr eturn we host them in Peru and teach them how to build a wind turbine. Their fee pays for the wind turbine materials and other organisation cost such that we can afford to give each wind turbine to a community for free. The community is then responsible for preparing the foundations and helping with the installation.
The limiting factor on the success of the organisation is the number of volunteers we host. With projects being funded by the volunteers, the number of wind turbines we build and installations we complete is in correlation with how many volunteers we have. If the number of volunteers was to drop, so would the number of wind turbines we installed and so an outside funding or grant would be required for further projects to continue. However the organisation is run such that if volunteer numbers drop, no high fixed costs are in existence and the organisation can operate on a reduced basis until further funding is secured. Which means the organisation should not gain debt.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
Year 1 (2010) - We aim to install 3 wind turbines this year, providing electricity to 3 communities. The total people to benefit from these projects in the communities is around 400 people. We are also working with a local school to explain wind energy and introduce ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more energy responsible life. This will reach around 1,000 school children in Peru. These projects will cut over 60,000 kgCO2 through the use of wind energy.
Year 2 (2011) - We plan to install more than 10 wind turbines this year in communities with no electricity, benefitting more than 1,300 people. We also plan to install 3 wind turbines for schools in Peru and along with educational presentations and workshops with the school children, we aim to reach more than 3,500 students and their parents. The carbon impact will be a reduction of over 260,000 kgCO2 directly from the installation of wind turbines, although the actual impact may be more due to the reduction of carbon footprints by the school children and their families.
Year 3 (2012) - We plan to install around 20 wind turbines for communities, benefitting more than 2,600 people. We will also continue to work with schools in Peru, aiming to reach over 5,000 students. This will equate to a carbon reduction of over 400,000 kgCO2, though the figure could be much higher as more of the population in Peru becomes aware of the work we are doing and changes their carbon lifestyle to reduce their emissions a little bit.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
We don't aim to seek impact on government or country wide policy, however we do wish to have some impact on the actions and lifestyle choices of Peruvians and our volunteers. Whether it be reducing your carbon footprint, thinking more about your waste, conserving your water use or just using less plastic carrier bags at the supermarket, our projects and information we give out aims to educate and provide people with choices on how to do their part in tackling climate change and protecting the environment.