Delivering wind energy to small-scale farmers in Argentina: why did it fail?

Background: in Argentina many areas do not have access to electricity and people are typically practising wood spinning as daily livelihood, apart from farming. In those houses, an EVOLUX G2 500 watt (at 12m/s) electricity plug and light system was installed.

In one of these researched areas, 80% of the systems were not running anymore.

What happened?

small-scale wind energy Technical reasons:

-Broken blades due to the very strong local wind: an inadequate system for this area.

-Batteries ran flat because of no additional power sources

-Other technical breaks: problem arose because efficient over effective systems were chosen

Social/local reasons:

-It was not possible to repair the systems. Spare parts were far away located, young people moved to the cities leading to a lack of knowledge for maintaining and repairing the systems.

-Forbidden maintenance the systems. Farmers as end-users but not as owners.

-Fund of the project did not reach the farmers and the study site. Furthermore, equipment was stolen by farmers who pretended to be government officials.

Solutions: use customized hybrid systems to prevent batteries to run flat and save fuel, establish a sense of ownership, and provide better maintenance services.


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