Clean energy startup, Avant Garde Innovations (AGI), has developed a wind turbine that can power your home for a fraction of the cost. Based in India, the company claims its low-cost invention can generate 3−5 kWh of electricity per day.
Due to the fact that many parts of India remain in the dark, founders and siblings Arun and Anoop George designed the turbine to bring down the costs of small wind power plants by three quarters. No larger than a ceiling fan, the wind turbine comes with a one-time cost of $750.
Recognized by the United Nations Foundation, AGI’s turbine can generate power even at very low wind speeds. The 1-kW-capacity equipment can provide about five units of power every day, which is enough for meeting the energy needs of a middle-income household daily. According to Arun, its compact design enables the system to run for years without frequent maintenance.
“When a small wind turbine generating 1-kW energy costs INR 3−7 lakh (US$4,000−$10,000), our company plans to sell it at less than NR 50,000 (about US$750). Costs will decrease further through mass production,” Arun told The Times of India.
Currently, the Indian government is planning to add 175 GW of green energy generation capacity by 2022. At present, renewable power generation accounts for less than 5% of the country’s total power generation capacity.
With an overall goal to eliminate energy poverty, reduce dependence on struggling state power grids, and create energy self-sufficiency for those in need, the Georges believe they can usher in a cleaner environment, new economic prosperity, and social change. While awaiting a patent for the turbine, they’ve been approached by more than a dozen corporate and private investors from India and overseas, such as Sequoia Capital and Keiretsu Forum.
“Investors are also interested because the design holds promise of being implemented as hydel or tidal turbines, too,” Arun said. “It could also be converted into an automobile motor after certain modifications.”
The opportunity for the startup is massive. India is the world’s sixth largest energy consumer, accounting for 3.4% of global energy consumption. Federal governments in India, along with the central, are unable to bear the huge infrastructural cost required to bring electricity to remote villages. Basically, erecting electric posts and electric lines require huge investments that could cost millions of dollars. And that is where AGI comes into the picture.
Seen as a revolutionary product, the turbine has won the Georges a spot in the Top 20 Cleantech Innovations in India. The company has also made it to the list of 10 clean energy companies from India for the “UN Sustainable Energy For All” initiative under the 1-billion-dollar clean energy investment opportunity directory.