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    Date submitted
  • 11-May-2017

Electric Spokes

Abstract

Electric Spokes is a for-profit social venture that provides small-scale micro wind turbines that rural communities can assemble themselves. This IKEA-design model of self-assembly allows us to provide off-grid electricity at a fraction of the current cost.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Off-grid communities in the developing world without electricity.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

1.2 billion people in the world don’t have electricity. 95% of that number live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. This is a problem that spans a variety of reasons, but here are some key factors. Government: the governing bodies of these countries are not providing grid electricity for their citizens. Cost: electricity providers have not found a way to provide low-cost solutions for low-income communities off-grid. Lack of effective networks: the cost of shipping and assembly of most renewable energies (solar, hydro) make electricity provision very difficult.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

We’ve recognized the same innovation that IKEA realized in the furniture industry. The main costs of a small-scale wind turbine business come from shipping and assembly. This has kept clean wind energy from reaching low-income communities in developing regions. But wind turbines are simple to assemble. ES proposes to ship compact wind turbine parts which the communities can assemble on site. This will drastically cut costs, allowing ES to serve the 1.2 billion without electricity around the world.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Our material cost at-scale will be $40, paid over 10 months. That low cost suits the population we hope to make a social impact with. The turbine generates anywhere from 400 Watts to 1kW of electricity, and then charges batteries that can be un-plugged, used, then re-charged with the turbine. This replaces the diesel generator economy already in place, where people have to walk several kilometers just to charge their phones. Instead, we're imagining a whole village economy based around wind energy. One customer rents out charged portable batteries, then re-charges them with the wind turbine.