Wind Empowerment

Wind Empowerment is an association for the development of locally built small wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification, which has been supported by the WISIONS initiative since the middle of 2014.  The regional partnership WindWorks, which aimed for the promotion of small-scale wind turbines in Latin America, merged with WindEmpowerment in 2014. WindWorks was initiated and supported by WISIONS, in close cooperation with Green Empowerment from 2011 - 2014.

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Wind Empowerment Maintenance Manual

News from WISIONS posted on February 28th, 2017

The Wind Empowerment network has recently published the third edition of a maintenance manual for “Piggott“ based designed small wind turbines, which is available for free download.Read moreMinimize

Many wind turbines inspired and based on a concept developed by Hugh Piggott have been manufactured all around the world. While most of the turbines built according to these specifications performed well initially, many broke down after some time due to a lack of appropriate maintenance.

This third edition of the maintenance manual includes preventative and corrective maintenance according to common issues that are happening, based on Wind Empowerment's experience and feedback from members around the world.

The manual is available for free download here: Maintenance Manual for Locally Built Small Wind Turbines – Version 3.0 [PDF]



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Activities

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

Annual Conference

The third annual conference of Wind Empowerment took place from 14 to 19 November 2016 at two different venues in the Patagonian region of Argentina. More follow-up information will be available soon at Wind Empowerment's website: WEPatagonia2016. A short kick-off video made by Cutral-Có is available here: 

Information on last year's event can be found here: WEAthens2014.

Online Platform
The new webpage of Wind Empowerment is a rich source of information and 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 documents and articles on wind technology, research background, broadcasts and the latest information on working groups. In addition, lively dialogue takes place in the discussion forums and webinars offer background information on relevant current topics.

Working groups
Wind Empowerment Working Groups (WGs) have been set up to actively address the key barriers facing the development of small wind technology for rural development. Currently, these consist of:

  • Market Assessment
  • Delivery Models
  • Maintenance
  • Technology
  • Measurement
  • Education

Network events

Despite the staggering array of digital technologies available and used across the network, follow up meetings in person are essential to allow members to discuss their experiences face to face, share practical skills and build lasting relationships. Two events have so far taken place.

SEPS exchanges – linked to Wind Empowerment

In the last calls for SEPS project support WISIONS selected the following exchange activities from members of Wind Empowerment.

Modular Power to the People: Democratising Energy Access through Modular Power Electronics Systems

“Where the Winds Meet” – Local Construction of Small Wind Turbines in Última Esperanza, Chile

Background and development of WindEmpowerment

Prior to the establishment of WindEmpowerment, there were many unrelated organisations around the world that were using small wind power to electrify rural areas, with varying levels of success.

In 2011 in Dakar, Senegal, many of these organisations met for the first time and formed the WindEmpowerment association.  The aim was to bridge the geographical gap between its members by providing a global platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Shortly after the inaugural event in Dakar, the online platform WindEmpowerment.org was created, which allowed knowledge to be exchanged via webinars, a document library, a discussion forum, news articles and, of course, by Skype and email.

Coordination and support

The WindEmpowerment network is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and is supported by several organisations, one of which is the WISIONS initiative. The coordinating person is Jon Sumanik-Leary.