Page 63 - Respond 2014 | RTCC Publications
P. 63

rtcc respond


wind’s big

solution Managing Director, Kingspan Environmental

By Ralph Mannion,

A look at the impact of small wind turbines Kingspan Wind is Kingspan Environmental’s small wind turbine
on remote and rural communities brand. To date, more than 4,500 Kingspan small wind turbines
have been installed in 70 countries, on every global continent.
Over 20 years ago a pioneering rural development For more information on small turbines:
scheme was announced for an island community deep in,
the South Atlantic. call +44 (0)1560 486 570, or email
For many of us The Falkland Islands might appear
unimaginably remote, isolated from the modern world A clean, green, sustainable power, all supplied by a network of 130 small wind
with some of the most challenging weather conditions turbines.
known to man. Over 85% of its 2,500 inhabitants
live rurally and independently from mains electricity, While many people will be familiar with the large turbines that punctuate so many
and the decision they came to 20 years ago was that landscapes across the globe, the impact of small wind turbines and their ability to
without sustainability and innovation at the heart of their adapt to a wide range of environments may not be fully appreciated.
community, rural life would become a thing of the past.
Our team have been designing, installing and commissioning 3kW, 6kW and 15kW
In fact, 22% of the world’s population live in similar systems, which are used in a variety of applications, for more than a quarter of a century.
landscapes, with no national grid to call upon for heat
and power. Most are reliant on diesel generators which To date, our global feet has accumulated over 35 million operational run hours, off-
are not only incredibly expensive, but damaging to the setting over 38,000 tonnes of carbon annually from our global feet of 4,500 small
environment and perhaps more relevant, completely turbines.
unsustainable! The benefts of small turbine technology are considerable and with both international
and localised support, they have the potential to become an integral part of everyday
So what was this pioneering initiative provided to The
Falkland Islands residents two decades ago? And life around the world.
what can it provide to rural life, remote locations and Small wind is easily accessible, less obtrusive to the surrounding landscape than large
communities the world over? wind turbines and perhaps more importantly can provide power both day and night.
Our experience of installing small wind turbines in more than 70 countries and on
“ small residents, schools, hospitals, animal welfare centres, local authorities as well as
every continent has demonstrated the technology’s adaptability - allowing island

domestic customers to beneft from producing their own affordable, green energy
whilst signifcantly reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. Even in high wind and storm
are capable of continuing to turn and generate energy provided they have robust
has conditions, so often cited as being an Achilles Heel of wind turbines, small turbines
engineering, with guarantees and safeguards built in.
come What’s also apparent from all these installations is that small wind does not need to
of be used solely for off-grid battery charge systems. We have designed direct heating
systems which can provide hot water, mini-grid systems that are powering entire
age ” communities and islands as well as standard grid connect turbines if a localised grid
already exists.
The rural development programme which has proven so successful across a
whole generation in The Falklands is just the tip of the iceberg. Through grant aid,
government support, funding and investment, thousands more of these schemes could
become a reality.

In our opinion, small wind has come of age; it is no
longer a new or untested technology but an obvious
choice in addressing localised sustainability.

Kingspan Environmental 61
   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68