Wind Turbines Pieced Together To Power Kenya

Thirty-two million Kenyans, approximately 85 percent of the country’s total population, live without access to grid electricity. Living without reliable power makes life extremely difficult for those in rural communities. Families must use car batteries or kerosene lamps just to have light or to power simple electronic devices. Batteries are expensive, and only a temporary fix, and kerosene lamps pollute indoor air, creating dangerous conditions in the home.

With the help of NGOs and community groups around the world, access:collective is working to co-create open source energy solutions that make sense to end users in East Africa. Currently, access:energy is piloting low-cost electricity services for rural Kenya by helping local technicians build and install village-scale solar and wind energy systems.

wind turbine recycled kenya

image via access:collective

“We treat communities in East Africa as co-producers and our organisation is experienced in building local capacity, connecting together business owners, manufacturers, and end-users,” reads the access:energy website.

The Night Heron Wind Turbine, written up recently on Inhabitat, is the latest development from access:energy. The turbines are assembled on site by local manufacturing talent using locally sourced materials. This ensures that repairs can be made easily if the need arises. According to access:energy, each Night Heron can provide electricity for up to 50 rural homes at half to one-third the cost of solar panels.

Electricity from the turbine is stored in a battery bank for use when the wind is not blowing. The turbines can be expanded in modular arrays to meet the energy needs of small communities or commercial clients. The power produced by these arrays can be used to provide refrigeration services to dairy farmers, charge batteries and lamps for the neighborhood, or simply run a small business like a barber shop. This gives those with limited choices for income the opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs without going into massive amounts of debt.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog


  • Reply February 25, 2012


    These are the kinds of projects that the catholic church faills to address. They should be into international development of local human ingenuity and help to leverage them to succcess. At the least , they should concentrate on the development of underdeveloped countries instead of trying to meddle in the internal state affairs of developed countries. Or else start worrying about elephants

    • Reply February 25, 2012

      Bernardo Simborio

      Yes budy you hit the nail in their head. also they have a lot of cash tax free it make sense if they partially contribute a portion of their wealth.

Leave a Reply