Innovative wind power to foster decentralized energy sourcing

Wind power has been increasing its weight in the global energy production portfolio, representing 487 gigawatts (GW) in production capacity as of the end of 2016. In actual production terms, wind power accounted for ~5% of the total electricity produced in 2016, based on data from 44 countries. Although still a marginal portion of the electricity production capacity, the wind power installed base has been growing quickly over the last few years (see below chart).

Wind Power Global Capacity and Annual Additions, 2006-2016

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Source: REN21 Renewables 2017 Global Status Report

Estimates indicate that cumulative wind power related investments could represent $3.3 trillion by 2040, an investment compounded annual growth rate of 3.4% over the period. It is also expected that the levelized cost for new electricity from onshore and offshore wind would decrease by 47% and 71% over that same period, respectively.

Even though the international community agrees the renewable energy transition must accelerate, the investment priority between various renewable sources is still a sensitive topic. Indeed, wind power advocates face various critics regarding wind turbines’ negative impact on wildlife, the uncertainty around recycling, bothersome noise generation as well as the reliability of the minimum wind speed required to make a wind project economically viable.

We met with Semtive, a startup designing a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) for the residential and commercial/industrial markets which solves most of the issues above mentioned. Indeed, the NEMOI wind turbine, both model M and S, does not harm the local fauna thanks to its horizontally rotating blades whose trajectory is perceived by birds and bats, thus preventing any collision risks. Also, NEMOI is 95% made of recyclable materials, only the paint and the bearings’ oil are not recyclable today. Finally, Semtive’s turbines are completely noiseless at any wind speed and start generating electricity at wind speed as low as 1.8 kmh[1], ideal in a urban environment. Semtive’s latest versions of model S and M produce 600W[1] and 1,600W[2] in nominal terms, respectively. Considering the average electricity consumption of an household in 2014 in Europe and the US, the Nemoi S and M could respectively supply 70% and 57% of the total electricity consumed by an average European and US household on a nameplate basis[3].

NEMOI – Product characteristics

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Source: Semtive website

Beyond the environmental impact, Semtive also chose to take a social and economic commitment to the regions where its products are sold by manufacturing the NEMOI locally. Thus, the company also manages to reduce import tariffs and shipping costs, optimizing its product cost structure and carbon footprint.

Additionally, Semtive’s products can be installed in one hour by a single person and with one tool, has a warrantied life cycle of 40 years (could reach 60 years), does not require any maintenance with only two moving parts, and has an average ROI of ~3 years[4]. In case of dangerous wind conditions such as hurricanes or tornadoes, the blades can be removed in under 15-20 minutes. Also, Semtive’s controller, which the company started developing a year ago, is simply plugged into an electrical socket like any other appliance, enabling a real time monitoring of the electricity production and usage from a mobile app. The controller also allows the user to connect other renewable energy devices such as solar panels or storage devices and to select which energy source is best to use at a given time, when to store electricity or to sell it to the grid.

The company understood that the future of energy lies in decentralization and technology, which fostered the inclusion of a blockchain based system enabling users to buy NEMOI electricity from each other via a microgrid.

Semtive’s NEMOI represents a highly long term cost-effective and sustainable power generation solution for the residential and commercial/industrial markets, satisfying both i) end customers, with lower electricity bills and a reduced environmental footprint, and ii) utilities, with innovative blockchain-enabled opportunities.

 

[1] Fifth generation turbine characteristic and currently undergoing UL certification. Information from brochure available online correspond to the Semtive’s fourth generation model.

[2] Based on an average wind speed of 11 m/s or 24.6 mph

[3] The nameplate or nominal basis does not factor in the capacity factor which determines the actual output generated by the system in real life condition

[4] Based on a $4,695 Nemoi M price tag and dependent on wind conditions and electricity consumption habits

 

Continue to follow The Cleantech Initiative on our website and watch our video interview of Ignacio, Semtive’s CEO, here!

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