Today, more than 1.3 billion people across the globe lack access to affordable and reliable electricity – with dramatic consequences for human health, education, and economic well-being. But more than 50 million of those live in areas with abundant wind resources.
Econet Renewable Energy Systems is part of the Wind for Prosperity initiative that took its departure in 2011, when Vestas’ CMO, Morten Albæk, had the idea to connect two data sets; wind data and areas with the highest level of child mortality. By combining these data sets, rural communities without access to reliable electricity but with an abundance of wind emerged, resulting in the vision: Wind for Prosperity.
Wind for Prosperity will create a world of new opportunities by accelerating access to clean water, healthcare, irrigation, education, communications infrastructure, and other social and economic benefits. It is different to most other corporate initiatives to alleviate poverty. The concept is commercially based and is more scalable and sustainable than efforts purely reliant on philanthropy and donations. It is business as a force for good.
Choice of technology driven by cost and reliability
The technical solution behind Wind for Prosperity is designed with affordability and reliability in mind. Wind for Prosperity brings proven technology to parts of the world where conditions to operate are harsh, where road infrastructure is limited and access to construction equipment is scarce.
In order to address these needs, a portfolio of wind turbines is required with a good range of outputs, operational reliability and favourable dimensions for transportation and erection.
At the core of the solution are some of the most robust wind turbines ever produced – the machines that built the foundation for the wind industry back in the day and played a critical role in the green revolution in the western world. Vestas has committed to sourcing and factory-refurbishing a selection of the most reliable models in their portfolio for deployment under the Wind for Prosperity brand.
The two flagship models presently considered for Wind for Prosperity deployment are the Vestas V27-225 kW and Vestas V47-660 kW. The models have been chosen due to their proven reliability and the operational qualities that make them perfectly suited to the conditions experienced in remote communities with limited infrastructure: easy to transport, simple to erect, reliable and simple to maintain – delivering a lower cost of energy. The wind turbines will be integrated into state-of-the-art wind-diesel power generation systems to provide stable, reliable electricity to isolated mini-grids.