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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Wind Empowerment 2018 International Conference: WEIndia 2018

News from WISIONS posted on November 23rd, 2018

The 4th Wind Empowerment International Conference, "WEIndia2018: Bringing Small Wind Turbines up to Scale", will take place in Chennai and Kayathar, India from 1 - 14 December 2018.Read moreMinimize

This year’s conference is jointly organised by Wind Empowerment and the National Institute for Wind Energy (NIWE), India. It will be longer than previous conferences, spanning approximately two weeks: one week of training sessions and one week for the conference programme.

The overarching theme "Bringing Small Wind Turbines up to Scale" is a key issue to the integration of small wind into an energy ecosystem where photovoltaic is ever cheaper and hybrid solutions are becoming mainstream ideas.

WEIndia2018 will be hosted at two locations in India, Chennai and Kayathar, both located within the state of Tamil Nadu:

  • Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state, at NIWE’s main offices
  • Kayathar, a small town in the state of Tamil Nadu, very close to Madurai, at NIWE’s Wind Turbine Test Station (WTTS) & Wind Turbine Research Station (WTRS)

Pre-conference activities (9 days) will take place at NIWE’s facilities in Kayathar. On the 9th day, participants will be transferred by bus to Madurai airport (2-hour drive) and by plane to Chennai (1-hour flight), where the Main conference activities (5 days) will take place.

In Kayathar, NIWE’s warehouse areas will be used for the hands-on manufacturing workshops, where all parts of a wind turbine, from blades and generator to tower and electronics will be constructed. This equipment will be bench tested, assembled, installed and field tested at NIWE’s Wind Turbine Test Station. NIWE’s Wind Turbine Research Station will also be visited and used for parallel activities.

In Chennai, participants will visit NIWE’s training center and main office facilities.These can be used on the last day, which is focused on Wind Empowerment’s internal processes, so fewer local participants are expected. During days 10-13 however, Wind Empowerment expects to have more than 150 participants, i.e. multiple state government participants from rural development, renewable energy and poverty alleviation departments as well as NGOs, universities and private entrepreneurs involved in rural development issues.

The conference programme and all other relevant information is compiled over at WEIndia2018.


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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.


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).