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.
On two separate Weekends our partnership network Wind Empowerment also hold their annual conference virtually. Although the virtual format for conferences seemed to have settled in, their format deviated in some way by using a more participative approach of Hackathons and virtual coffee meetings. The recordings of the sessions and other results of the conference are now online. Link to WEOnline 2020Read moreMinimize
The organizers of the online conference intended to make the one thing possible that all conferences have in common and what participants like the most about it: getting together. In times of COVID-19 this naturally not quite possible at the moment, but the Wind Empowerment however gave it a try. Mainly the purpose of the event was to bring the Wind Empowerment Community together by exchanging experiences about small wind energy in the last year and delivering a convivial conference instead of a formal scientific conference.
The program was filled with a series of webinar sessions and division of the participants in two separate groups: Education, Technology, Market Assessment, Delivery Models and Measurement. On top, a "hackathon" was been introduced and the results of it have been presented on the second weekend of the conference.
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 previous conference took place from in November 2016 at two different venues in Patagonia, Argentina: WEPatagonia2016.
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.
Six Working Groups (WGs) have been set up to actively address the key barriers facing the development of small wind technology for rural development: