Monday, October 28, 2013

The Changing Wind

Wind is a powerful force. It disperses seeds for new growth while also providing a cooling effect. Wind is also an energy force that is being collected in areas all over the world.

This morning, while I was perusing Twitter, I came across a tweet from The Guardian that said that Ethiopia has built the largest wind farm in subsaharan Africa. The wind energy captured from the wind farm will help to sustain Ethiopia's economic growth while providing energy for more of its inhabitants. This is a huge step towards a better Ethiopia. But at what price?

In order to gain something, generally we must give something up. It is just like what our mothers said: you want respect, you must first give respect. But how do you know what you have to give up in order to get something? Not everything has an obvious price tag like in the department store.  In my English class, we are coming up with innovation projects. In order to fix unknown unknowns, we go through a process called crows vs. crops. Basically, other students nitpick our projects and help us figure out its opportunity cost. In short it is what finalizes our cost-benefit analysis.

Windmills in Ethiopia
I'm sure that Ethiopa had some sort of cost-benefit analysis. But there seems to be a problem with the farmers that they displaced: they were not compensated enough for the defaulting of their land. This movement towards electricity for all might have some additional possibilities. I am not saying that their project was ill-planned, but I do have some ideas that could help the health of the nation.

The land between wind turbines is usually wasted. But Ethiopa could install a mild farming it grazing program so that fewer farmers or shepherds are displaced. This way, the food supply is less affected by the installment of the wind turbines. It would be a win-win situation for both the government and the people of Ethiopa.

Another possible idea that I have, if possible with their current or future resources, is to fill the space between the windmills with solar panels. This would be really pricey, but would increase their energy by millions of kilowatts! With more energy available, people would start to build communities that utilize this renewable energy. 

As I said before, I am not criticizing their project because I am a huge fan of their innovative step towards an improved nation economically and socially. This innovation is great. Ethiopa is using the metaphorical lemons that they recieve from nature and turning them into sweet lemonade. This was my view from my pier today. What do you see from yours?


No comments:

Post a Comment