Wind Empowerment is a global association for the development of locally-manufactured small wind turbines (SWTs) for sustainable rural electrification. It aims to strengthen the capacity of its members through collaboration and knowledge exchange to promote and support small wind technology as a viable solution for rural electrification.
Wind Empowerment 2018 International Conference: WEIndia 2018
News from WISIONS posted on November 23rd, 2018
This year’s conference is jointly organised by Wind Empowerment and the National Institute for Wind Energy (NIWE), India. It will be longer than previous conferences, spanning approximately two weeks: one week of training sessions and one week for the conference programme.
The overarching theme "Bringing Small Wind Turbines up to Scale" is a key issue to the integration of small wind into an energy ecosystem where photovoltaic is ever cheaper and hybrid solutions are becoming mainstream ideas.
WEIndia2018 will be hosted at two locations in India, Chennai and Kayathar, both located within the state of Tamil Nadu:
- Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state, at NIWE’s main offices
- Kayathar, a small town in the state of Tamil Nadu, very close to Madurai, at NIWE’s Wind Turbine Test Station (WTTS) & Wind Turbine Research Station (WTRS)
Pre-conference activities (9 days) will take place at NIWE’s facilities in Kayathar. On the 9th day, participants will be transferred by bus to Madurai airport (2-hour drive) and by plane to Chennai (1-hour flight), where the Main conference activities (5 days) will take place.
In Kayathar, NIWE’s warehouse areas will be used for the hands-on manufacturing workshops, where all parts of a wind turbine, from blades and generator to tower and electronics will be constructed. This equipment will be bench tested, assembled, installed and field tested at NIWE’s Wind Turbine Test Station. NIWE’s Wind Turbine Research Station will also be visited and used for parallel activities.
In Chennai, participants will visit NIWE’s training center and main office facilities.These can be used on the last day, which is focused on Wind Empowerment’s internal processes, so fewer local participants are expected. During days 10-13 however, Wind Empowerment expects to have more than 150 participants, i.e. multiple state government participants from rural development, renewable energy and poverty alleviation departments as well as NGOs, universities and private entrepreneurs involved in rural development issues.
The conference programme and all other relevant information is compiled over at WEIndia2018.
Wind Empowerment is an association for the development of locally manufactured small wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification. They represent dozens of member organisations, consisting of wind turbine manufacturers, NGOs, universities, social enterprises, cooperatives, training centres, as well as over 1,000 individual participants across the world.
The association was founded in 2011 at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal. The aim was to bridge the geographical gap between its members by providing a global platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Shortly after the inaugural event in Dakar, the online platform windempowerment.org was created, which allowed knowledge to be exchanged via webinars, a document library, a discussion forum, news articles and, of course, by Skype and email.
Mission & Goals
Wind Empowerment supports the development of locally-built wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification by strengthening the capacity of its members globally through:
- Building and sharing financial and human resource connections
- Performing joint technical research, sharing technical information and collaborating on key vendor relationships
- Strengthening understanding of business and social models for the effective implementation of small wind technology
- Managing projects, offering consultancy services and developing/distributing products in line with the association’s guiding principles
Wind Empowerment acts as both a central knowledge bank and a facilitator of direct connections between its members (currently 39 organisations).
The Wind Empowerment conferences, which take place every 2 years, have been key in building and maintaining the relationships between individuals and organisations that form the basis of the network. Despite the staggering array of digital technologies available and used across the network, it has become clear that face-to-face follow up meetings are essential to allow members to discuss their experiences in person, share practical skills and build trust and partnerships.
The most recent conference took place in Kayathar and Chennai, India from 1 - 14 December 2018. Many photos and videos of the activities have been published on Wind Empowerment's Facebook page. Further information is available at WEIndia2018.
The previous conference took place from in November 2016 at two different venues in the Patagonian region of Argentina. A comprehensive conference documentation is available here:WEPatagonia2016.
The webpage of Wind Empowerment is a rich source of information and serves as an exchange platform for the members, as well as for other people interested in the network and the technology. It covers not only recent news and event information, but also contains a library of documents and articles on wind technology, research background, broadcasts and the latest information on working groups. In addition, lively dialogue takes place in the discussion forums and the webinars offer background information on relevant current topics.
The Working Groups (WGs) have been set up to actively address the key barriers facing the development of small wind technology for rural development. The six WGs are:
In 2016 all six working groups started to develop so-called kick-starter projects to ensure a more intensive form of collaboration within clearly targeted projects or studies.
Upcoming EventsCurrently, there are no upcoming events.
Coordination & Support
The coordinating person is Jessica Rivas.
The regional partnership WindWorks, which aimed for the promotion of small-scale wind turbines in Latin America, merged with Wind Empowerment in 2014. WindWorks was initiated and supported by WISIONS, in close cooperation with Green Empowerment from 2011 - 2014.