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Environmentally Friendly Wind Generator Available for Rural Africa

Apr 16, 2008 - Voice of America News

An environmentally friendly source of energy is now available in Africa. A wind generator is on display in Cape Town, South Africa and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was created by the California-based group "Pac-Wind," which was founded to meet the need for generator systems that are practical, quiet and reliable and can operate in low wind.

The generator was designed specifically for use in Africa. It can supply electricity directly or can be an extra source of power for schools, hospitals, clinics, farms and communities that are located far from regular electrical systems.

Amare Teferi is the president and CEO of "Africa Pac-Wind." From Los Angeles, he told Voice of America English to Africa Service reporter Cole Mallard that Africa is the primary market because of "the rise of fuel prices, inaccessibility of the grid systems in Africa, and it would be most useful in rural areas for backup." He says there's great potential in Africa because out of the 885 million people, not many have access to electricity. Teferi says the generator is not noisy, has no vibration, "doesn't upset neighbors," does not interfere with wildlife, and is of no danger to birds in flight. He says electricity can be stored, or shared.

"In many places in Africa you can't get e-mail any time of the day, you have to wait...until there is power. In some places there is no light for kids to read books or go to school.... Community activities are limited from sunset to sunrise, so this wind generator, which is quite efficient, can solve those problems," he said.

The technology specialist says there are two models: The portable Delta 1 produces 2 kilowatts of power and is used for individual homes, and the Delta 2 produces 10 kilowatts and is for community use.

Teferi says the generators are not yet being mass produced, so the cost "right now is on the high side." The smaller generator is about $4,000 and the larger is approximately $19,000. But he says the prices will decrease, "like any other product in the world, when we produce it in mass."

The Africa Pac-Wind representative says the generators are in production and about 100 have been sold, with orders from many places "and we're trying to insure that we can cut some costs."

Teferi says the plan is to market the generator throughout the continent. For more information the website address is: WWW.AFRICAPACWIND.COM.