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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Webinar: How Can Open Source Accelerate Energy Access For People Off The Grid?

News from WISIONS posted on February 26th, 2019

Watch our latest webinar! This time, WISIONS examined how energy practitioners are applying the 'open source' approach to overcome concrete challenges to energy access. Read moreMinimize

Watch the recording on YouTube here.

Download the presentations: WISIONS Webinar Open Source Technologies Slides  

Open source, open innovation, open collaboration: most of us access information daily based on an ‘open’ approach. Open source technology – which emerged as a radical new approach to software – benefits from a collaborative and transparent approach. It allows people to adapt and improve technology according to their needs. An open source approach can progress more rapidly thanks to the crowd-based model that encourages experimentation. Open source technology is flexible, and it is sometimes even more reliable.

But how can this revolution in “openness” benefit people who need access to energy? In the case of energy access, open source technology allows people to adapt energy-related hardware, software, and data more easily to their local conditions, potentially saving both time, effort, and money in the process. The flexibility offered by open source technology means that people are not wedded to proprietary technology if they need to adapt to new conditions. Despite these benefits, obstacles to open source technology also exist.

In our recent webinar we learned how energy practitioners are applying open source to solve concrete challenges to energy access. We explored the possibilities and the difficulties of using open source technologies for advancing SDG7.

Specific Objectives:

  • To showcase how energy practitioners (and practitioners’ networks) are applying the open source model to SDG7
  • To understand the potential of open source technology for energy access
  • To identify the difficulties or limitations of deploying open source technology in the energy access space

Speakers:

Dan Frydman, Green Empowerment / Hydro Empowerment Network
Luiz Vila, Wind Empowerment
Vijay Bhopal, Connected Energy / Open Energy Access Alliance
Martin Jäger, Libre Solar / Open Energy Access Alliance

Moderator: Molly Hurley-Depret

Watch all our previous webinars: WISIONS Webinar Series


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Upcoming Events

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


Introduction

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

Activities

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

Conference

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).