This week I’ve been busy traveling around the UK to tell people all about Wind Empowerment. I spent 4 days in Exeter at the annual gathering of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), which attracts a global audience of over 1,000 people.
The WISIONs programme at the Wuppertal Institute supports not only Wind Empowerment, but also two other practitioners networks, RedBioLAC and HPNet. In partnership with Carmen Dienst, we presented these networks as a means of empowering rural communities in less developed countries by linking together the various “knowledge hotspots” that have emerged around the world using online platforms such as WindEmpowerment.org and exchange activities. The Measurement WG DevWeek that took place in Toulouse this April was given as an example of such an exchange activity, where network members with specific skills are brought together to share them with other network members in a practical workshop environment.
A few days later, Carmen and I chaired a session on delivery models for sustainable energy access in less developed countries. WE trustee, Heather Cruickshank, shared her latest thinking on the topic, having supervised Annabel Yadoo’s groundbreaking PhD work that opened up this field of research. Zoe Ben also presented her Master’s research on the comparative analysis of a diverse range of models used by WE members to deliver energy access with small wind turbines in their local area.
On Saturday, I travelled to the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Wales to attend Practical Action’s Small is Beautiful Festival. The event aims to provide a forum for debate and practical skill sharing on the theme of appropriate technology. Aran Eales represented both Wind Empowerment and V3 Power, facilitating two practical wind turbine sessions designed to introduce participants to the basic concepts behind the operation of small wind turbines and, of course, the local manufacturing process. Together we also ran an hour long session presenting the application of small wind turbines in remote areas of less developed countries and the role that Wind Empowerment plays in facilitating this process.