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.
The Wind Empowerment Network is hosting a free webinar entitled "A Market Assessment For Small Wind Turbines In Nepal" on 26 September 2018, 5 PM GMT+1. Register now!Read moreMinimize
More than 2.7 million people in Nepal are still without access to electricity, with the majority of these people living in hard to reach rural areas. Nepal is one of the world’s most mountainous countries, making infrastructure projects such as grid extension difficult and sometimes prohibitively costly. As a result there is a pressing need to develop and implement off-grid generation projects to serve the needs of the rural population.
In March and April of 2018, Wind Empowerment members Alfred Alsop and Kimon Silwal carried out a national market assessment for small wind turbines in Nepal. The project, with support from WISIONS and the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) of Nepal, aimed to build upon previous national market assessments carried out by Wind Empowerment members in order to indicate how and where small wind turbines might best contribute to electrification efforts in the country, whilst identifying the opportunities and barriers for implementation and recommending the necessary next steps to optimise the sector. The project included expert interviews, techno-economic modelling and mapping, and a knowledge exchange workshop.
Alfred Alsop and Kimon Silwal will present the results and experiences in an upcoming webinar on 26 September 2018, 5 PM GMT+1. Register now!
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: