Source: The Improvement Plan
A startup in southern India has revolutionized small-scale wind power by creating a unique wind turbine the size of ceiling fan that can generate 5 kWh/kW per day — with only a one-time investment of US$750. So for the cost of an iPhone, we can go off-grid and power an entire household for a lifetime, even at low wind speeds.
Avant Garde Innovations (AGI) was launched by two brothers — Arun and Anoop George — from Kerala, India, who believe their invention could make the worldwide energy crisis a thing of the past. According to the company, their goal is to eradicate energy poverty, reduce dependence on local power grids and encourage self sufficiency through affordable, renewable energy. “In doing so, we believe we can collectively usher in our world a cleaner environment, new economic prosperity and social change.” A startup with a “green heart and soul,” they aim for a market launch of the turbine sometime in 2017.
For those who recognize the dire need for sources of clean energy, but don’t have the capital to implement a standard off-grid system, Avant Garde’s wind turbine is a game-changer — especially for impoverished regions around the world.
A Clean and Green Power Source That Won’t Break the Bank
India is a prime example of a growing power crisis where, for many regions, electricity is a distant dream. But if AGI has any say in the matter, India’s energy problems will be a thing of the past. What’s more, their solution will have few ecological drawbacks.
“Recognized by the United Nations Foundation, AGI’s turbine is capable of generating power even at very low wind speeds. The 1 kw-capacity equipment can provide about five units of power every day — deemed enough for meeting the energy needs of a middle-income household every day. Its compact design, said Arun George, enables the system to run for years without frequent maintenance.” [source]
The opportunity is immense — especially considering India is the world’s sixth largest energy consumer, which accounts for 3.4 percent of the world’s energy consumption. And, due to the governments inability to shoulder the infrastructural cost to bring traditional electricity to remote villages, economical micro wind turbines — like those developed by AGI — are an exceptionally attractive option.
Many in the West also question whether this innovative technology could be applied in first world countries, as a method for homeowners to reduce their energy consumption from the grid — which is largely fueled by environmentally destructive coal and natural gas. The answer is a resounding yes, but with a few caveats.
Off-Grid Residential Wind Power
For those concerned about preserving the environment — as well as becoming self-sufficient — wind power holds potential. The obstacle, however, usually lies in zoning rules for homeowners who are not rural, along with overall cost to implement the system. For the average family, going completely off-grid can be an expensive venture — and even if you are able to afford it, city laws may render wind turbines illegal in your area.