THE BLOG

Why Wind Is Providing Hope, Opportunity and a Healthier Environment

11/26/2013 10:43 am ET | Updated Jan 26, 2014

An amazing lady called Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor once told me, 'When you are faced with a crisis, you either feel paralyzed by fear or feel empowered to make a change.'

Making the world a better place is something I care deeply about, and there are parts of the world that are in crisis. That's why I am empowered to make a difference and bring about change.

In New York this week, a great new initiative is being launched, which will help transform energy poverty into sustainable growth and prosperity. The initiative, "Wind for Prosperity," goes towards answering the United Nations' "Sustainable Energy for All" call to action, and I fully believe it's going to have such a positive impact on millions of lives.

Upwards of 1.3 billion people across the globe currently lack access to affordable and reliable electricity. Something we take for granted is missing from their lives, with dramatic consequences for human health, education, and economic well-being.

However, more than 50 million of those live in areas with abundant wind resources. Perhaps just as surprisingly, over the coming decades the global energy demand is expected to increase heavily as much as 27 to 61 percent in 2050 according to World Energy Council. That's alarming anyway you look at it. This against the fact, that at the same time a large number of conventional power plants are aging and will be shut down. So this is why "Wind for Prosperity," provides such hope and opportunity.

Wind for Prosperity creates a world of new opportunities to provide clean water, health care, irrigation, educational opportunities, communications infrastructure, and other social and economic benefits for rural communities where such opportunities are now lacking or limited -- and does so on self-sustaining commercial terms. Anchored on wind power technology, Wind for Prosperity creates an opportunity for business, government, and financial institutions to combine their talents to improve people's lives and generate risk-adjusted returns for private investors.

I have been lucky enough to spend a fair bit of time in Africa -- even getting married there. It's a continent I care deeply about and where the needs for an initiative like this are immense. So I am very happy that one of the first projects will center on up to 13 Kenyan communities that are home to more than 200,000 people. The projects being planned in coordination with the Kenyan Ministry of Energy, Kenya Power and Light Company, and various government agencies - will supply electricity at least 30% below the current cost of diesel. The biggest savings come from reduced use of diesel fuel. It's a win win for everyone.

Through my company -- Sundog Pictures -- I'm now going to be proudly telling the story of "Wind for Prosperity," and the team behind it including Morten Albaek, whose big picture ideas initiated this project. I've always believed our content should inform, engage and inspire -- and we have found a perfect partner in Vestas.

Based in Denmark, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas' almost 50,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by over 60 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence. Again, this is a win, win for sustainable impact and long term improvement for the environment as well as millions of people across the Globe.

Vestas is currently the world leader in wind energy and as we begin shooting the documentary to tell the world about their great vision I am going to be doing more via social media to spread the word. The next countries that will be part of this incredible chance to use wind power technology, include developing countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Yemen, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Nicaragua. In the next three years there are plans to install the hybrid power generation system in 100 communities reaching at least one million people.

We look forward to telling the story along the way, and of course engaging you in this debate and a global call to action.

My hope is that Mother Nature and smart business minds will make a perfect combination of making the world a better place, and bring about much needed change.