BEYOND "EMPOWERMENT": THE REALIZATION OF COMMUNITY POWER
Organized by: Patrick Pawletko
Event Name: CGI U Commitments Challenge Final Four
AMOUNT RAISED IN PREVIOUS ROUNDS: $3790
Over the past four years, our team at Purdue University, in collaboration with the African Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST), has established a locally-sourced, locally-fabricated micro-hydropower plant in the remote village of Bangang, Cameroon. Our team upgraded a locally built micro-hydropower scheme by using innovative engineering techniques, thereby increasing the plant's power output by 300%, while simultaneously reducing construction and operation costs.
Building upon our past successes, we are now attempting to replicate our results with the creation of a universally sustainable economic framework to support micro-hydropower plants worldwide.
Objective: to catalyze a widespread adoption of this appropriate technology by overcoming the issues regarding financial resilience through a method of community economic development (CED): a capacity-building economic theory reliant on "radical localism, and attempts to link marginalized communities more effectively to the mainstream economy" (Haughton, 1999).
Procedure: with support from various funding agencies and donors, we will continue to develop a robust power control system that can be reproduced locally, then upscale our results in four new locations throughout the Global South to study micro-hydropower application in a variety of economic environments.