In recent years, methods of harvesting renewable energy have seen increased development as investors, policymakers and corporations seek additional shares of assets in an expanding green market.
Territories rich in renewable resources are the “clean energy fields” of the future. They are often inhabited by historically disadvantaged indigenous and peasant communities. In the current race to establish control over territories endowed with a high-quality wind resource, the rights of these community members are routinely compromised. The development and operation of commercial wind energy projects often escalates to exploitation, displacement and even violence in some regions as communities defend their homes, traditional lands and livelihoods.
Conflicts stem from the unequal allocation of three critical components of wind energy production: capital, technology and territorial rights. Unlike energy companies, communities lack adequate financial and technical means to develop large-scale wind projects. Additionally, communities often do not fully understand the value of generating wind power through utility-scale wind farms in their territories or the terms of contractual agreements that accompany them. These deficits, combined with the lack of national legislation, create a disadvantage for communities to participate in the wind energy sector.
Due to widespread community unrest about erosion of territorial rights in exchange for minimal compensation for wind energy, many wind projects have ceased or have been seriously delayed.
Yansa was founded in 2009 on the belief that, if communities play a central role in the implementation of renewable energy projects, the transition to renewable energy will be accelerated, unfolding more efficiently, sustainably and democratically. Through direct community involvement in the construction and operation of wind farms, communities retain control of their renewable energy resources and knowledge and skills are transferred between all community members. By selling the energy to the national grid, Yansa’s approach establishes a source of income for the community, creating opportunities for economic and social growth.
Yansa seeks to have a major impact on the transition to renewable energy with the intention to implement this model globally.