Wind Turbine, Peru

January 2012

Volunteer Engineer with Wind Aid



Following a thread of interest in ‘Innovation Design Engineering’ and practical climate change,  I volunteered for work at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Machynlleth, Wales.  Whilst there, I learned about applied renewable energy projects and became eager for some hands-on experience.

I decided that building a small electricity-generating wind turbine would be a great place to start.


(Above)  The “Zero Carbon Britain 2030” energy scenario suggests Wind as a key resource and that over 60% of Britain’s heating and electricity should be produced by wind farms by 2030.  Yet, Wind power – perhaps more than any other renewable energy technology – divides the opinion of the British public, presenting a challenge of perception.

Building a wind turbine appeared to me, a good way to better understand this intriguing technology.


Through direct contact with a UK wind power expert, I discovered Wind Aid; a social entrepreneurship in North-West Peru who provide electricity generating wind turbines to remote communities.

I arranged and self-funded a two-week volunteership working as a Wind Aid engineer.

Week 1:  I assisted the small workshop team in the batch manufacture and development of turbine parts using hand-based workshop techniques whilst learning the theory of wind turbine specification and design.

Week 2: Myself and seven other Wind Aid crew drove to the rural mountain community of Parinshique to install a 2.4kw turbine at a primary school where the free energy will provide lighting and power for laptops – complimenting the XO ‘One Laptop For Every Child’ scheme.