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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WISIONS Side Event at COP23 in Bonn, 16th November

News from WISIONS posted on November 2nd, 2017

COP23, the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 will take place from 6th - 17th November under Presidency of the Government of Fiji in Bonn, Germany. The WISIONS team will participate in the conference and also host a side event on 16th November 2017.Read moreMinimize

On 16th November 2017, WISIONS is hosting a side-event in Bonn, which will take place in the Post Tower, directly next to the Bonn Zone, the event is entitled:

From Paris to Action at Local Level in the Global South – What Role Can Local Energy Practitioners and Existing Knowledge Networks Play?

Following the adoption of the Paris agreement and the SDG Agenda 2030, the focus of debate is shifting towards (a) how to connect the implementation of both agendas and find synergies; and (b) how to involve and strengthen activities of non-state actors at local level.

Energy practitioners are key actors on the frontline of efforts to provide energy services to unelectrified and under-served areas, thereby contributing to several SDGs simultaneously. 

At the same time, energy practitioner knowledge networks have proven to be successful in strengthening capacities and exchange of know-how. 

Despite this background, the role of energy practitioners as change agents is often not recognised by themselves, nor reflected in the debates on the SDGs and climate action.

In this panel discussion and two following workshops we would like to discuss these aspects with experts from different fields in the climate, energy and development contexts and with practitioners from Latin America and Asia.

Details on the event's panelists, programme and venue can be found here.

You can follow us on Twitter during the COP23 @wisions or our Wuppertal colleagues @wupperinst under the hashtag #MakingParisPossible

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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 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 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.

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.

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.