Even in the year 2013, nearly one-and-a-half billion people do not have access to electricity. Three billion people – almost half of the world’s population – rely on biomass, such as wood, charcoal, and dung, for cooking and heating purposes. These people are living in energy poverty, the ramifications of which extend far beyond heating and cooking. Children (usually young girls) have to spend hours collecting firewood to heat their homes and cook, which prevents them from going to school.
Energy poverty is one of the least-discussed aspects of our current energy challenge, yet it poses serious threats to economies, national security, the environment, and public health throughout the world.
Such energy-poor communities often migrate towards flowing water to sustain life, making the market potential of the ECO-Auger® immense. The ECO-Auger can be easily installed and maintained in flowing water with very little skill. Unlike solar and wind energy, it will provide clean, constant, predictable electricity wherever there is moving water.
EAI will focus on multiple markets, using different strategies for each. The first is the emerging energy-poor markets: Africa, India, South America, and Asia. Funding for clean energy projects in such areas are getting more attention globally. The next market, and likely the largest, would be more developed countries and communities with a limited infrastructure grid, which use diesel fuel generators to support industry and residences. Alaska, New Zealand, New Guinea, British Columbia, all of the islands in the Bahamas, and remote areas of the United States are examples of this. The return on investment, along with the concern to protect fish and other marine wildlife, leads us to invest in this market as the primary target. The last market is the high-end European and American areas. Both are rich with low-cost energy, yet both strive to reduce their carbon footprint. Like solar and wind, our technology may require incentives to increase the return on investment. However, with the desire for green products, and the need for additional energy sources during power outages, our environmentally-friendly design will find a sizable home in the European and American markets.
Additional markets could use the ECO-Auger for irrigation, by outfitting the ECO-Auger with a high-volume, low-pressure water pump. This auger could then pump water onto land – and even uphill – to irrigate crops. This would improve the food supply in many Third World countries.
Contractors building the cellular networks in Brazil have contacted us to explore the possibility of using the ECO-Auger in very remote locations, to power cell towers throughout the Amazon.
We have also been contacted by salmon fisheries in southern Chile, which wish to use the ECO-Auger to supply energy for their salmon farms. Such operations there are currently 100% diesel-powered.