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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New Article: Impact Pathways Of Small-Scale Energy Projects In The Global South

News from WISIONS posted on September 11th, 2018

The WISIONS team has published a new article, "Impact Pathways of Small-Scale Energy Projects in the Global South – Findings from a Systematic Evaluation", in the journal "Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews". Read or download it here.Read moreMinimize

Access to clean and affordable modern energy services has been widely recognised as a significant factor for enabling social and economic development. It is assumed that stand-alone systems and mini-grids play an important role in the provision of sustainable energy to those people who currently lack access to it. Accordingly, an increasing number of small-scale energy projects are being implemented in developing countries and emerging economies. However, despite the large number of such energy development projects, only limited evidence exists about the actual contribution these projects make to sustainable development.

This paper addresses this research gap by providing a systematic assessment of three selected impact pathways based on the evaluation of over 30 small-scale sustainable energy projects. Applying a theory-based evaluation approach in the form of a contribution analysis, the aim of this research is to better understand if and how these types of technical interventions can create development outcomes and impacts.

The results show that technological issues are often not the most decisive factor in achieving development effects, but that embedding the technology in a set of actions that address social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects is essential.

Read or download the article: Impact Pathways of Small-Scale Energy Projects In The Global South – Findings from a Systematic Evaluation


A Biogas Demonstration Unit For Los Pinos, Argentina

News from WISIONS posted on September 3rd, 2018

One of our recent SEPS projects aims to tackle the issues of rural energy scarcity, high volumes of biomass feedstock and problems associated with waste disposal by installing an anaerobic biodigester in the region of Los Pinos, Balcarce, Argentina.Read moreMinimize

As in other countries, small rural communities in Argentina have a scarce supply of energy but have the potential to harness high volumes of biomass feedstock from their agricultural and livestock activities for bioenergy generation. In addition to emissions produced by using fossil fuels, waste disposal related to poor waste management practices is an associated environmental challenge.

The project is led by INTA and CONICET, organisations devoted to developing sustainable innovation and transformation, together with FCA–UNMdP.

Recently, the project team successfully carried out the following activities:

  • The "Cooperative of Supply of Services and Consumption Los Pinos Ltd." was established to produce, acquire, commercialise, transport and distribute feedstock for biogas production and provide other services for the successful implementation of a biogas demonstration unit (BDU). There was a particular focus on electing local women to occupy key positions on the cooperative’s board.
  • The selection and training of personnel to operate, maintain and manage the BDU.
  • The design and installation of a 25 kW demonstration biogas plant and associated gas pipeline mini-grid.
  • Discussions on waste classification and how households and municipal authorities can properly sort and add value to their waste.
  • The acquisition of feedstock for initial biogas production at the BDU, which will come from residues from a pig rearing facility (Lanpu S.A.) and a poultry farm (Por la Huella S.A.).

More general information on this SEPS project is available here: Biogas Demonstration Unit for Sustainable Rural Energy Development in the Humid Pampas of Argentina

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New Project: Strengthening Open Source ELC Development In Southeast Asia

News from WISIONS posted on August 27th, 2018

Electronic load controllers (ELCs) are one of the most crucial and complex components of micro-hydro systems. One of our new exchange activities in cooperation with Green Empowerment aims to improve an existing open source ELC design and to provide specific and in-depth training to practitioners for ELCs to be correctly installed and maintained throughout Southeast Asia.Read moreMinimize

Electronic load controllers are important in micro-hydro systems because they maintain the electrical specification within safe parameters through monitoring variable consumer demand and balancing it with the power generated by a turbine. While micro-hydro civil works, turbines, generators and transmission lines can be installed using locally available technical skillsets, ELCs require more specific and in-depth training to be correctly installed and maintained.

This SEPS exchange activity in cooperation with Green Empowerment, Tonibung and Sibat has two specific objectives: (1) to continue to build and strengthen local capacities around ELC installation and development; and (2) to further improve an existing open-source ELC design.

Read more details about the foreseen activites on our project website: Exchange: Strengthening Open-Source ELC Development in Southeast Asia.



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