The global potentials for small-to mid-sized wind (10-500 kW) production: Using a Kenyan case study

T. L. Acker, Dean Howard Smith, B. Weathers, A. Zinenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to the Human Development Report 2007/2008 there are 1.577 billion people in the world without electricity, from which 1.569 billion are from developing countries (UNDP, 2007). It raises a question: Should they use fossil fuels for their electricity needs as the developed world did in 19th century or could they leapfrog to renewable energy technologies? The majority of developed countries understands the problem of carbon emission and issue of climate change. One of the adaptation options according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chage (2007) AR4 report is the usage of renewable energy such as wind and solar energy. The purpose of this article is to estimate the type and size of the wind energy system suitable for an unelectrified community of approximately 200 homes. To reach the final purpose the following tasks were set: to examine the latest reports on the condition of wind energy systems development; to create a model of appliances set required for a single house; to estimate the total required output power of the system considering both the needs of single homes and the community as the whole; to explore the wind power systems manufacturers market; to identify the companies manufacturing the products that meet the demands of the community; to study the economic and social impact of an electrification program. However, an analysis of the market for wind turbines exhibits a serious gap in the market. The market for wind turbines has evolved in two opposing directions: small and large. Small systems in the 1-2 kW size are readily available for individual households in the developed world. Conversely, as the size of utility scale turbines have increased with advanced technology, the mid-sized portion of the market has been left behind. As such, we conclude that a substantial potential market exists as described herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • co-consumption systems
  • co-generation systems
  • electrification
  • mid-sized wind turbines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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