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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A National Market Assessment For Wind/Solar Hybrid Systems In Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on October 19th, 2018

One of our SEPS exchange activities resulted in a comprehensive market assessment for wind/solar hybrid systems in Nepal, intended to directly address the existing uncertainties surrounding the technology and reach a consensus among stakeholders. Read moreMinimize

Being one of the world’s most mountainous countries, grid extension in Nepal is economically unfeasible in many locations. As a result, off-grid electrification solutions will be required to provide or upgrade access to electricity in the most inaccessible regions of Nepal.

In cooperation with Wind Empowerment, our project partner KAPEG (the Kathmandu Alternative Power and Energy Group) intended to assess the potential of wind/solar hybrid mini-grids for off-grid electrification in Nepal. Their activities resulted in a comprehensive analysis of the existing market for solar/wind hybrid systems in Nepal, including an analysis of the market size, the current regulatory environment, technical issues and the common delivery/business models used to establish and maintain off-grid solar/wind projects in Nepal.

The final assessment includes data collected from six wind/solar hybrid mini-grid sites, with an analysis of failure modes and frequency, along with a summary of a series of expert interviews and techno-economic and mapping efforts. Taken together, these sections are intended to provide actionable information and recommendations for the off-grid small-wind and solar sector in Nepal. The assessment details the current status of small wind in the country, wherein the country is most viable for the technology, what issues need to be addressed to optimize the enabling environment for the technology and what the estimated market size is in Nepal. Through this, our project partners might improve the utilisation of the indigenous wind resource and effectively employ small wind turbines as a solution for off-grid electrification in the rural regions of Nepal in the future.

Find more general information on this SEPS exchange activity here: A Country Level Market Assessment for Small Wind Turbines


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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.