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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Upscaling Strategy: Biogas Systems in Guatemala

News from WISIONS posted on July 6th, 2015

Our partner organisation, Alterna, supported under the WISIONS SEPS scheme, successfully implemented 25 small scale biodigester systems in Guatemala from 2012 to 2013. During an upscaling phase in 2013 and 2014, Alterna aimed to develop effective business models and suitable financing mechanisms with selected NGOs to replicate the success of the small scale biodigester systems within these organisations through sustainable self-financing schemes.Read moreMinimize

Some of the achievements during the upscaling phase include:

  • The creation by Alterna of an integrated communication plan to present to relevant stakeholders (i.e. potential NGOs, funders, local governments etc.). The plan includes a biodigester outreach programme in which Alterna participates in events and fairs, increasing its presence as an alternative energy option.
  • As a result, new partner organisations to provide biodigesters to more users have been identified (CEIPA, FEDEPMA, ACGJ, COPROLECHE, CHIVALAC).
  • Together with financing specialists, Alterna created upscaling and financing plans with the partner organisations by using insights gained from the initial project phase.
  • Working plans with banks, microfinance institutions etc. have been prepared to finance biodigester expansion in Guatemala.
  • By systemising information processes and accumulating know-how and lessons learned, Alterna has drawn up detailed guidelines for designing the most appropriate technical, economic and financial solutions for biodigester implementation.

  • Since mid-2014, Alterna and Viogaz S.A., an organisation originally from Costa Rica, have come together in a social venture and are working as strategic allies. They are the first socially and environmentally responsible company specialising in biodigestion technology, biogas and bioslurry in Guatemala.
More information on this SEPS project is available on our SEPS project page: Biodigestion systems for small-scale ventures: Enhancing low-carbon food value chains



Enhancing low-carbon food value chains in the Guatemalan highlands

News from WISIONS posted on October 7th, 2014

Our partner organisation Alterna, which has been supported under the WISIONS SEPS scheme, successfully implemented 25 small scale biodigester systems in Guatemala. The technology showed a high dissemination potential and Alterna expects to install nine small scale biodigester systems without the need for subsidies in the upcoming months. Read moreMinimize

The aim of this SEPS project was to use biodigester systems as a simple, affordable and user-friendly alternative for small-scale food productive units. Besides the planning and installation of the technology, marketing and communication were important factors of the project, seeking collaboration with stakeholders and raising awareness of low-carbon technologies amongst the general public. 

Many lessons have been learned during the last two years: 

  • The feeding process for the biodigester systems has been greatly simplified by incorporating a purge in the anaerobic reactor that minimizes the time spent on these tasks
  • The environmental and socio-economic potential of bioslurry: the "new brown gold" will allow users to pay back the investment in less than three years, which will make the technology very attractive to investors and financers
  • Slaughterhouses and municipal markets, coffee and dairy farms, hotels and restaurants, as well as the industrial sector are proving that digesters are an opportunity to reduce production costs while complying with environmental policy 
  • Alterna and Viogaz S.A. are now working as strategic allies. This bond will provide the capacities necessary to response to the increasing interest in the technology in Guatemala


Viogaz - Alterna Exchange: "Maximizing the biodigestion process"

News from WISIONS posted on April 23rd, 2014

Alterna is an NGO working in Guatemala. During the last years it has been active in the promotion of biodigesters in that country, for instance through the implementation of a SEPS project between 2012 and 2013. In March 2014, the Viogaz-Alterna Exchange aimed to improve Alterna's biogas program.Read moreMinimize

Joaquí­n Ví­quez is a biogas expert from the company Viogaz in Costa Rica. Joaquin visited Alterna in order to strengthen the technical capacities of Alternas' staff. The exchange comprised three main activities at various facilities like cattle/pig/chicken farms and slaughterhouses, as well as organic coffee plantations:

  • A visit and technical supervision of existing plants and potential project sites within the department of Sololá and in the town of Salcajá, Quetzaltenango
  • Conduction of the first meeting of biodigester operators in the region consisting of members of Alterna, and Viogaz, biodigestion system users and technical trading partners 
  • Intensive technical advice on characterization of effluents (both chemical and biological) for use in crop fertilization and appropriate follow-up and maintenance strategies of biodigesters
The complete report can be accessed here [in English and Spanish]: RedBioLAC: Intercambios Internacionales