Pedro Neves – blueEnergy – Nicaragua/Germany/Portugal
The aim of this contribution to the WE Athens Conference is to present an assessment of the different challenges of implementing SWTs in the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Based on two years of working experience at the nonprofit, non-governmental organization blueEnergy, the technical, economical, organizational und social challenges of installing small wind turbines. The different expressions of these challenges are to be presented in detail, together with the condition that originate these, such as: environmental conditions, manufacturing deviations, logistical difficulties or social complexity of the context in which the small wind turbines were implemented. The methodologies and technologies developed or adapted in order to mitigate or avoid these challenges are also presented, with special emphasis on the technical solutions implemented in order to adapt blueEnergy’s small wind turbine to its environment. Based on the challenges faced by blueEnergy a set of key factors for the success of small wind turbines are proposed: climate; consistency and knowledge transfer; interest of end user. Furthermore, two methodologies: Market assessment and participative community diagnostic are put forward as recommended preliminary feasibility assessment tools that can be used to ascertain the fulfillment of the abovementioned success criteria.