WISIONS of Sustainability

The main objective of WISIONS is to make clean energy a default solution for basic energy needs in developing regions, by helping local partners to identify successes and bring them to scale through regional networks, marketing and demonstration. Read more about WISIONS activities, goals and background.

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Webinar: How Can Open Source Accelerate Energy Access For People Off The Grid?

News from WISIONS posted on February 4th, 2019

In our upcoming interactive webinar, WISIONS will examine how energy practitioners are applying the open source approach to overcome concrete challenges to energy access. It will take place on 26 February 2019, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm CET. Read moreMinimize

Register now!

Open source, open innovation, open collaboration: most of us access information daily based on an ‘open’ approach. Open source technology – which emerged as a radical new approach to software – benefits from a collaborative and transparent approach. It allows people to adapt and improve technology according to their needs. An open source approach can progress more rapidly thanks to the crowd-based model that encourages experimentation. Open source technology is flexible, and it is sometimes even more reliable.

But how can this revolution in “openness” benefit people who need access to energy? In the case of energy access, open source technology allows people to adapt energy-related hardware, software, and data more easily to their local conditions, potentially saving both time, effort, and money in the process. The flexibility offered by open source technology means that people are not wedded to proprietary technology if they need to adapt to new conditions. Despite these benefits, obstacles to open source technology also exist.

In this webinar we will learn how energy practitioners are applying open source to solve concrete challenges to energy access. We will explore the possibilities and the difficulties of using open source technologies for advancing SDG7.

Specific Objectives:

  • To showcase how energy practitioners (and practitioners’ networks) are applying the open source model to SDG7
  • To understand the potential of open source technology for energy access
  • To identify the difficulties or limitations of deploying open source technology in the energy access space

Whether you are a donor, a non-profit organisation, a researcher, or a business, join us and share your insights into the potentials of open source technologies – and your fresh ideas. This will be an interactive webinar with polls and opportunities for Q&A!

Speakers:

Dan Frydman, Green Empowerment / Hydro Empowerment Network
Luiz Vila, Wind Empowerment
Vijay Bhopal, Connected Energy / Open Energy Access Alliance
Martin Jäger, Libre Solar / Open Energy Access Alliance

Moderator: Molly Hurley-Depret

Register now!

Watch our previous webinars: WISIONS Webinar Series


Learning About Solar Water Pumping Technology In Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on February 13th, 2019

Winrock International aims to make solar water pumping technology affordable to small farmers in Nepal. In order to share experiences and know-how among stakeholders, they recently hosted a knowledge exchange workshop in the country. Read all about it here!Read moreMinimize

This workshop was jointly organized by Winrock, NACCFL and the Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood Programme / Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC).

A total of 53 participants joined the workshop to discuss and work on the following objectives:

  • To expand the knowledge of board members of small farmer cooperatives on solar water pumping technologies
  • To share experiences, success stories and best practices from farmers who already utilise these technologies
  • To inform about product details, sizes, prices and other factors of the systems
  • To carry out a field visit to a small water pumping system installed at a fish and poultry farm for practical observation and interaction with local farmers

Overall, the participants found the workshop to be very informative and helpful. They learned not only about technological aspects, but also government subsidy programmes, financial background, and how the technology benefits other aspects of people’s lives.

For more impressions of the activities, visit our Facebook page!

Read more about this WISIONS SEPS project here: Knowledge Exchange to Make Solar Water Pumping (SWP) Systems Affordable for Small Farmers


Review: Wind Empowerment's 2018 Conference In Chennai, India

News from WISIONS posted on February 8th, 2019

The 4th Wind Empowerment International Conference, WEIndia2018, recently took place in Chennai, India. The coordinators have now published a detailed review of their experiences – read it here!Read moreMinimize

For the first time, before the actual conference, Wind Empowerment organised an 8-day series of hands-on manufacturing workshops with more than 100 participants from around the world. During the workshops hosted at NIWE’s warehouse and conference areas, the participants were instructed by Wind Empowerment trainers to construct all parts of a wind turbine, from blades and generator to tower and electronics. The non-patented designs by small wind expert Hugh Piggott were used to manufacture two wind turbines (800W and 500W), and open designs, developed by practitioners within the Wind Empowerment network, to construct a wooden tower, fiberglass blades, a water pumping system, a charge controller, a datalogger and modular power electronics. The constructed equipment was then assembled, bench tested, installed and field tested at NIWE’s Wind Turbine Test Station.

After the workshops, three days of conference and roundtables allowed representatives of wind energy from around the world to exchange their knowledge and delve deeper into technical and methodological discussions. This has been an opportunity to focus on technical details with major importance such as the height of the mast and the placement of the system and discuss a wide variety of topics: Standards, Testing and Quality Control, Micro-Grid opportunities, Distributed power electronics, Productive uses, Market Assessment and Sustainability Assessment of small wind turbines for rural development amongst others. On this occasion, international projects were also presented, such as experiences from Nepal, France, Tanzania, Peru and Argentina.

International interest

The workshops and conference were attended by more than 150 participants from 40 different countries. Many of them were foreign government representatives, from each country’s Ministry of Energy or National Electrification Agency, who were invited by the Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to participate, as well as representatives from NGOs, universities, entrepreneurs, students from the renewable energy sector and enthusiasts.

The different rates of access to electrification between countries generate different interests for participation in these conferences. For countries with high electrification, it is an environmental issue to develop or initiate renewable energies.

The stakes are different for countries with low electrification rates. The small wind turbine represents a solution for isolated sites on the one hand for its relatively simple implementation, on the other hand because it is a source of clean energy. The participants from these countries have a strong interest in wind energy and this workshop and conference has only increased the desire to get started, but several obstacles have been highlighted. Apart from the economic brakes, the wind is still unknown in comparison to solar energy and the lack of expertise is a problem for the installation and maintenance. Moreover, it is necessary to make a preliminary study of places where small wind can be installed, to have a map of the winds of the country, all this requires time. The conference has contributed to the improvement of knowledge in the wind field for each country and also made for exchanges between the different countries and also with the Wind Empowerment network.

Future partnerships

These two intense weeks have been rich in information, generating great interest and momentum among participants. Nehemia Rong, tomato and pepper producer from Manipur (North East India), leaves with the idea of installing a wind turbine for his farm. José Armando Gastelo-Roque from Peru does research at the university and works at WAIRA (which means "wind" in Quechua), a company working on renewable energies. Sebastian Ochoa from Colombia works in a company generating energy from biogas. Both would like to set up a Wind Empowerment project in their respective countries.

From India alone, four organisations have become members of Wind Empowerment: KCG College of Technology, Revayu Systems, Gramin Tantradyan Sanstha and KAC Fibres.

Wind Empowerment coordinator Jessica Rivas hopes that these events will be the first step on a positive direction moving small wind forward in India and across the world. “Tools, knowledge and expertise has been shared with an international audience, now it is time to transfer and spread what was learnt in Chennai with the people back home.” The wind rises!


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