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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Outcomes of the 2016 "Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking" Conference

News from WISIONS posted on May 12th, 2016

In April 2016, the coordinator of the RedBioLAC network, which is supported by WISIONS, participated in the Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking Conference. It was organised by Hivos, SNV and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity in Ethiopia, in cooperation with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.Read moreMinimize

The conference attracted around 140 participants and around 80% were from Africa. While biogas digestion systems for domestic use are widely established across Asia, the African continent still lacks the know-how and expertise regarding these technologies.

Recently, prefabricated fixed-dome biodigesters and different kinds of tubular digesters have been trialled but, to date, only 5% of the implementation potential for biogas plants in Africa has been realised. The main challenges include low initial investment capacities, limited knowledge (especially regarding the potential end uses of biogas and effluents) and poor quality systems.

During the conference, various sessions dealt with the potential and benefits of biogas use for cooking purposes, urban sanitation and communal usage. Further discussions included a market assessment of biodigesters, the question of financial accessibility and possible adaptions to international implementation models.

A more detailed report is available on the RedBioLAC website (in Spanish only).


Conference on Energy Access in Africa

News from WISIONS posted on April 26th, 2013

"Fostering Energy Access in Africa. Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Integration“ is the topic of this year's Potsdam Spring Dialogue 2013 hosted by the German Development and Peace Foundation (Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden, SEF). It is taking place in Potsdam on April 26-27, 2013 and WISIONS team is participating.Read moreMinimize

The focus of the conference lies on the political and economic framework needed for the uptake of renewable energies in Africa. The conference program states: „The potential afforded by clean, green – in other words, renewable – energies is especially high. Depending on the local geophysical conditions, windhydroand/or solar energy are available in abundance. And yet as much as 82 per cent of Africa's electricity is still generated from fossil fuels, compared with only 16 per cent from renewables. If this ratio is to change, the right political and economic adjustments must be made, for example through taxation, subsidies and incentive schemes, as well as feed-in tariffs and legislation. After all, private investors will only commit to this type of project, alongside public sector donors, if the conditions are right."

More information can be found on the conference website.


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.