Vestas unwraps Wind for Prosperity

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and green energy group Masdar have unveiled a joint public-private initiative to bring renewable power to remote communities in developing nations – starting in Kenya.

The Wind for Prosperity scheme aims to identify wind-rich areas and facilitate commercial deployment of hybrid wind/advanced diesel generation systems that can operate on local mini-grids.

Vestas will bring its wind-mapping and site design know-how to the initiative, as well as helping to source and refurbish turbines, while Abu Dhabi's Masdar focuses on development and management issues.

The first venture under Wind for Prosperity involves investment group Frontier Investment Management and will centre on up to 13 communities in Kenya and their 200,000 residents.

Working in conjunction with the Kenyan government and utility Kenya Power and Light Company, Wind for Prosperity hopes to supply electricity at least 30% cheaper than is possible under existing diesel-only generation.

The Wind for Prosperity organisers hope to reach one million people within the next three years and are looking at future opportunities in nations including Ethiopia, Pakistan, Vietnam and Nicaragua.

Vestas Group senior vice president Morten Albæk labelled Wind for Prosperity “one of the biggest corporate initiatives to combat energy poverty and deploy green technology in developing countries”.

Kandeh Yumkella, UN Secretary-General’s special representative said: “We need new and good technologies to help the energy poor access clean, reliable, affordable and modern energy services to manage their everyday lives.

“If good technologies can’t be financed, an energy revolution is impossible. Vestas’ Wind for Prosperity will help transform lives and communities.”