This Sustainable Clean Energy Solution Costs Less Than an iPhone

This Sustainable Clean Energy Solution Costs Less Than an iPhone
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Avant Garde Innovations, an Indian cleantech startup, has developed an affordable and small wind turbine that generates energy for less than three-quarters of the cost of its traditional counterparts, promising to make clean energy affordable to enterprises and households alike.

“It will bring down the cost of setting up small wind turbine equipment from a minimum Rs 2 lakh per kilowatt of capacity to Rs 50,000 per kilowatt,” said Arun George to The Economic Times. George, along with his brother Aloop, founded Avant Garde Innovations.

The new type of wind turbine features a compact design that reduces maintenance needs, which is why it is all the more impressive that it can generate enough power to meet the daily needs of an average Indian household, even at very low wind speeds. One turbine, about the size of a ceiling fan, can generate 5 kilowatts of power each day and costs about $750, whereas traditional home wind turbines typically cost thousands of dollars.

The efficient design is a far cry from the hulking industrial-grade wind turbines that can be seen squatting in open fields. The Georges hope that their innovation, which has already won recognition from the United Nations Foundation, will one day “eliminate energy poverty, reduce dependence on struggling state power grids and create energy self sufficiency for all the needy ones through distributed, localised and affordable renewable energy.” Their company has also attracted interest from the likes of prominent venture capital groups like Sequoia Capital and Keiretsu Forum.

“Investors are also interested because the design holds promise of being implemented as hydel or tidal turbines too. It could also be converted into an automobile motor after certain modifications,” Arun George said.

Currently, the turbines are only available in India and Australia, though the startup has been approached by North American manufacturers interested in setting up a joint venture to expand into Asia and the Middle East.

“We are seeing large potential in Asia and the Middle East markets, to begin with. Besides, a couple of government and private corporations from the Middle East are keen on the product,” Arun added.

But Avant Garde Innovations believes it’s the most significant step toward helping households access clean and affordable energy: “In doing so, we believe we can collectively usher in our world a cleaner environment, new economic prosperity and social change”, the company website states.

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