Wind Empowerment

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.

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Workshop: A Country Level Market Assessment for Small Wind Turbines in Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on April 9th, 2018

With the support of WISIONS, KAPEG aims to strengthen small wind turbine technology in Nepal by conducting a detailed national market assessment for small wind turbines and consolidating existing experience in the development and implementation of small wind turbines in the country.Read moreMinimize

Wind has historically struggled to find a place in rural electrification in Nepal, being often overshadowed by hugely successful micro-hydro power and a recent widespread use of solar photovoltaic systems. Meanwhile, the country does exhibit significant wind resources, especially in the immense mountaineous regions that dominate the north of the country.

This SEPS project aims to quantify the potential market in Nepal, while identifying the existing barriers and bottlenecks to growth. Once these barriers are identified KAPEG hopes to formulate and implement recommendations and guidelines to improve the enabling environment for small wind stakeholders.

The project is being conducted in three phases:

  • Stakeholder interview campaign (identifying difficulties in planning, implementation and maintenance)
  • Geospatial and techno-economic modelling (to quantify the market potential and identify suitable locations)
  • Stakeholder engagement workshop (to draw on previous results to make final recommendations)

Recently, the project team has conducted the stakeholder interviews in Kathmandu; finished visiting six wind solar hybrid systems across Nepal while collecting data from the end users; and accumulated most of the data necessary for the market assessment (like available wind and solar resources, population data, etc.).

All the collected data are currently being analysed and will be presented at a final market assessment workshop on 18th April 2018 from 9:30am to 3:10pm (Nepal time) at Yalamaya Kendra, Patandhoka, Lalitpur, Nepal. If you would like to attend, please register here.


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Introduction

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

Activities

Wind Empowerment acts as both a central knowledge bank and a facilitator of direct connections between its members (currently 39 organisations).

Conference

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 last 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. For the 2018 conference in India, please refer to the bottom of this page ("Upcoming Events").

Online Platform
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.

Working Groups
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 Events

The next conference, WEIndia2018, will take place in Kayathar, India from 1 - 14 December 2018. Please visit Wind Empowerment's website for the application procedure and all other information.

This year’s conference is jointly organized by Wind Empowerment and the National Institute for Wind Energy (NIWE), India. It will have a longer agenda of approximately 2 weeks: One week of trainings and one week of conference programme.

Coordination & Support

The Wind Empowerment network is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and is supported by several organisations, one of which is the WISIONS initiative.

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.