Did you know that 1.3 billion people in the world have no electricity? That’s the same as the entire population of the EU (500 million) twice over and that of the US (300 million) combined.
While wind energy in Europe is providing energy solutions on a large scale, in some of the world’s poorest states the opposite is true – small, local wind energy micro-businesses can provide a vital source of affordable electricity for lighting, water pumping, access to information, agriculture and refrigeration of food and medicines.
This year, we at international charity Renewable World have teamed up with EWEA and GWEC for Global Wind Day – a day to celebrate wind energy the world over, which will take place on 15th June.
We are raising funds for the remote Tanzanian village of Songambele, where we have installed a wind-solar hybrid project in which a 1kW wind turbine is helping to power an Information Centre housing books, mobile phone charging points and computers with internet access.
The project is helping people in Songambele in a number of ways: 250 farmers are using the technology available to get the latest weather forecasts, crop-resilience and pest control methods to overcome climate change and increase yields. They can also get the latest market-prices for crops to ensure they don’t set their prices too low.
Simultaneously, the community can access healthcare information, and is used for education and training, as well as offering people new ways to increase incomes through business opportunities and initiatives.
And the centre has become a ‘showroom’ for devices such as biogas systems and solar lanterns, both of which mean people don’t have to spend money on kerosene, pollution from which kills 2m people per year, or spend time gathering firewood, which is often dangerous, always time-consuming, and damages the local environment as well as polluting homes with smoke.
The turbine also powers irrigation, so that children in the village can spend less time working in fields, and more time at the Centre, focussing on their education and increasing their chances to work their way out of poverty.
Your money will help Renewable World to provide people in Songambele and across East Africa through similar projects with clean water, better healthcare, up-to-the-minute information to help increase their income, and the capacity to improve education for young people and adults.