Wind Empowerment

Association for the development of locally-built small wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification

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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Small wind for productive use: The socio-economic advantages of wind energy for family operators in Argentina

News from WISIONS posted on March 4th, 2021

Our partner network Wind Empowerment set up three small wind turbines in different rural areas in Argentina to analyze the productive use of such systems. Close monitoring and impact evaluation revealed now insightful results of the socio-economic advantages for families and farmers that installed a Piggott wind turbine. Link to the projectRead moreMinimize

Altogether, three different regions with three different operators have been selected by the regional project partner 500rpm for this purpose. In two sites the full systems have been installed and their operation monitored for several months. The system for the third site (a camping area) is still in development. The first project analyzed the impact of wind power on an egg farm (in Corralito, Rio Negro Province) and the second on a horticultural farm in Costa del Lepá, Chubut Province. Analysis on the impacts of wind turbines revealed some interesting outcomes for the beneficiaries of the project and productive use of small wind turbines.

  • Wind power generating lighting in poultry houses increased productivity around 30% in winter and 15% in summer. 
  • The pumping system for irrigation based on wind energy actually increased the monthly income of the participating farmer family by 90$ due to the removal of diesel-powered pumping systems. 
  • Preliminary estimates for small wind power on the camping area assume that it could reduce the fossil fuel consumption about 65% and connected costs of 1400 USD per year. Also, the generated energy through wind turbines could provide sufficient sustainable energy for lighting, freezers, television, washing machine, radio and charging of cell phones or flash lights. 

The demonstration projects in operation already provide some positive impacts in the productivity of the intervened economic activities. Moreover, the potentials for more significant impacts became evident at this intermediate stage of the project. For instance, by switching from flood irrigation to drip irrigation the horticultural farm would be able to double its production. This would also reduce the water needs and allow for using part of the generated power for improving domestic services, for instance by powering wash machines and refrigerators.

Our regional partner 500rpm is working in collaboration with other locally active organization such as INTA (National Institute for Agriculture Technology) and the Agrotechnical School of Cholila in order to provide the agro-technical support needed for improving the productive integration of the wind power.

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Upcoming Events

The Wind Empowerment 2019-2020 Webinar series will begin soon! Past webinars are available on WE's YouTube channeland on their website.


SWTs can offer viable off-grid power solutions where strong wind resources (4–7m/s and higher) are available and evenly distributed throughout the year, or in regions where the combination of small wind technology and solar PV can provide a reliable power supply.

Wind Empowerment 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. It has since consolidated and now represents dozens of member organisations, consisting of wind turbine manufacturers, NGOs, universities, social enterprises, cooperatives, training centres, as well as over 1,000 individual members across the world.

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).


Wind Empowerment conferences take place every 2 years and are key in building and maintaining the relationships between individuals and organisations that form the basis of the network.

The most recent conference took place in Kayathar and Chennai, India in December 2018. You can find all the outcomes on on Wind Empowerment's Facebook page and on this detailed Review.

The previous conference took place from in November 2016 at two different venues in Patagonia, Argentina: 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 resources. In addition, lively dialogue takes place in the discussion forum and the webinars offer background information on relevant current topics.

Working Groups
Six Working Groups (WGs) have been set up to actively address the key barriers facing the development of small wind technology for rural development:

In 2016 all six working groups started to develop so-called kick-starter projects to ensure intensive collaboration within clear targets..

Coordination & Support

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

The coordinator is Jessica Rivas (left).