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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Cashew Processing on a Sustainable Basis in Dakoró, Burkina Faso

News from WISIONS posted on February 14th, 2013

In the south west corner of Burkina Faso a cashew nut processing unit is converting to using renewable energies. The processing of cashew nuts is very energy intensive. The cashew nut shells have to be steamed open and the steam is traditionally produced by heating water using fuel wood, which is scarce. Read moreMinimize

In a later stage of the process, the kernel is dried using butane gas to neutralise its poisonous and corrosive oil. With support from SEPS in a project conducted by SNV, the heat produced by fuel wood and butane gas will in future be replaced by the gasification of cashew shells and the combustion of the resultant gas. For that purpose a gasifier and new driers, constructed by the Burkinan enterprise ISOMET, were installed. Once the unit has been fully modified, the process will use 100% renewable energies.

During the visit to the project by a WISIONS team member in November 2012, it was clear that the modification of the process was already in development. At the same time it became evident that some adjustments to the original design had to be made e.g. installing fans to increase the efficiency of the gasifier. However, it is possible to generate the electricity required to power these fans using photovoltaic panels.

These adjustments to the original project concept illustrate the importance of carrying out real experiments on a local level.

International Conference on Renewable Energies in Rural Areas

News from WISIONS posted on February 6th, 2013

Large parts of rural Africa are not connected to national electricity grids and this fact will probably never change. As renewable energies are becoming cheaper, grid extension is becoming an unattractive option in comparison to the opportunities for decentralised power generation from renewables. Read moreMinimize
In many off-grid areas renewables are also more cost-effective than diesel-generated power. Nevertheless, there are still huge hurdles for sustainable energies to overcome in rural parts of the world. In order to discuss these topics, IRENA organised the 1st International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC), which was held in Accra, Ghana on 1 and 2 November 2012.  The main results from the WISIONS perspective are:

  • the price developments of solar photovoltaic on the one hand, and oil and diesel on the other, have created a new recognition of - and enthusiasm for - renewable energies in developing countries. 
  • high subsidies for fossil fuels present a major obstacle to the uptake of renewables in many southern hemisphere countries. 
  • innovative business models are being developed in the sector of so-called Solar Home Systems (SHS). These models use mobile money as a payment tool and function without any external donor support.
  • long-term financing models for renewable energies are a key element for the future development of renewable energies; however, such models do not yet exist. 
  • building national or even supranational regulatory frameworks for renewables seems to be a crucial driver to up scaling renewable energies in rural areas.
For more information on the conference visit www.iorec.org

National Network for Biomass Energy (RedBioCOL) Established in Colombia

News from WISIONS posted on January 12th, 2013

A Seminar on the energetic and productive use of organic waste took place in Guapotá-Santander, Colombia. Experts from diverse Colombian organisations and institutions met between 15th and 17th October 2012 to share experiences and discuss future advances in the field of biodigesters and other types of biomass energy. Read moreMinimize
The event was organised by the Colombian chapter of the Foundation for Tropical Sustainable Agriculture with the support of the Red de Biodigestores para Latinoamerica y El Caribe (RedBioLAC) and WISIONS.  
The participants strengthened their knowledge, examined new technological advances, identified relevant topics for future research and discussed medium and long-term prospects for the dissemination of biogas technologies and other biomass energy technologies in Colombia. One of the outcomes is the possible inclusion of these technologies in future government programmes.  
The participants agreed to form the "Red Colombiana de Energía de la Biomasa“ (RedBioCOL) as a national chapter of the RedBioLAC, with the goal of generating  opportunities for key actors, i.e. farmers, agricultural service providers, academics and researchers among others, to participate in the development and diffusion of the technologies. 

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