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blueEnergy's mission is to provide sustainable, low-cost energy to communities in need.
blueEnergy is a nonprofit organization that provides a low-cost, sustainable solution to the energy needs of marginalized communities through the construction, installation, and maintenance of hybrid wind and solar electric systems. blueEnergy manufactures wind turbines that are specially designed for simple manufacturing, robustness and efficiency in low wind speeds. blueEnergy manufactures the systems locally, near their point of usage, to keep energy costs low, improve equipment serviceability, and create employment where it is desperately needed.
It is widely accepted that access to electricity is a necessary, although not sufficient, requirement for modern economic and social development. Electricity opens the door to a host of technologies that promote education, public health, and economic development, such as emissions-free light, refrigeration, and communication devices. Without electricity, communities are unable to participate in the benefits of modern advances and are left isolated and literally in the dark.
In Nicaragua, blueEnergy's initial project country, half of the roughly 5 million inhabitants do not have access to electricity; the situation is particularly grim in the Caribbean Coast region of the country where nearly 80% of the inhabitants go without. In part because of this, and in part the cause of this, the region is the poorest in Nicaragua, itself the second poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Several factors conspire to make the cost of grid extension, the most common method of extending energy services, prohibitive on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua: low population density, rugged terrain, and lack of general civil infrastructure. Diesel generators, the most common form of distributed generation globally, are cost prohibitive with fuel prices over $4 a gallon, and a logistical nightmare. Despite this, most development initiatives attempt to implement diesel mini-grids with predictably disastrous results. Other development initiatives rely on solar power only, which entails high costs and uncertain serviceability. Finally, some development projects use imported wind turbines, which tend to be very expensive and most often fail to meet production expectations or fail entirely due to the harsh environment and improper servicing. blueEnergy's approach to rural electrification focuses on manufacturing wind turbines on the Caribbean Coast, near the point of usage. This local, wind power centric focus keeps energy costs low, improves servicing feasibility, and provide jobs where they are desperately needed.