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 August 5th we conducted together with our partnership network Wind Empowerment a webinar about insights to our research and projects in Peru on small wind energy for electrification of rural off-grid communities. In case you have missed the webinar, the recording is now available here. Click here to read more about the webinarRead moreMinimize
Abstract Off-grid electrification solutions powered by renewable energy technologies are increasingly recognized as the most suitable alternative for reaching a great portion of the 800 million people lacking access to electricity today. In regions with suitable wind resources, and with appropriate planning, off-grid small wind turbines can provide significant contributions to closing the energy access gap.
How can the potential contribution of small wind for electrification schemes be assessed?
What should be considered in order to ensure that small wind turbines effectively contribute to close the energy access gap?
How can the benefits of small wind power be maximised?
Alfie Alsop (Treasurer at Wind Empowerment executive board; PhD candidate at Strathclyde University)
Kimon Silwal (Secretary at Wind Empowerment executive board; Company manager KAPEG)
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: