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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Productive Use of Biogas at Dairy and Pig Farms in Costa Rica

News from WISIONS posted on June 2nd, 2017

One of our SEPS projects has an innovative approach to the productive use of biogas at dairy and pig farms in Costa Rica. It aims to replace electric motors with biogas-powered engines to operate milking machines and forage choppers, and provide heat from biogas-fired heating lamps to the piglets, respectively.Read moreMinimize

This project is being led by local partners Viogaz. Their recent work includes the successful identification of farmers aiming to participate in the programme, and the assessment of farms serving as pilot project sites. Via surveys and other analyses the farmer’s needs for a biodigester could be determined, as well as their possible uses of the new technology. 

Since Viogaz is a partner of Kiva Microfunds, an organisation which allows people to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs, they were able to offer a financing option to the selected farmers, helping them implement the anaerobic technology (biodigesters).

Furthermore, Viogaz designed the appropriate biodigestion system for each user, considering a variety of factors. Most of the systems have already been installed, and all of the installed digesters have begun operation. All users were trained on how to run and maintain the biodigesters.

The next working steps of this project include monitoring of the systems, connection of the technology to its designated end uses, as well as further testing, validation, and training sessions.

More general information on this project is available here: Validating a Novel Approach to the Productive Use of Biogas to Empower Medium Scale Dairy and Pig Farmers in Costa Rica


Grid-Connected Biomass Gasification in Sri Lanka

News from WISIONS posted on April 12th, 2017

One of our SEPS projects in Sri Lanka established a pilot community-based grid-connected wood gasification power plant (20 kW) in the village of Batugammana. It serves as an environmentally friendly income-generating opportunity for the rural population in Sri Lanka. Farmers living in the village supply sustainably grown fuel wood to power the plant, which in turn generates power that is eventually sold to the national grid.Read moreMinimize
Biomass energy has the potential to generate income for rural farmers as there is an attractive feed-in tariff for biomass power in Sri Lanka. This project, which has recently been successfully completed, mobilised the farmers in the village, formed a community-based company, conducted feasibility studies and obtained an energy permit from the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority for the grid-connected biomass power project.

A 20 kW power pellet (wood) gasifier and engine was purchased, together with an induction generator. The team designed and manufactured a suitable woodcutter and constructed a power house. Subsequently, they signed the "Standardised Power Purchase Agreement" with the Ceylon Electricity Board, which permits the energy produced to be sold to the grid. As a last step, the power plant was connected to the national grid. To ensure sustainability, a wood supply chain was established with the farmers, plant operators were trained and a 20 year power purchase agreement was signed.

Monitoring of the plant’s performance is still on-going. For more general information on this SEPS project, please visit our project page: Introducing grid-connected biomass gasification units for rural energy access and community development.


Handbook on Biogas Integration into Sustainable Farming Systems

News from WISIONS posted on January 9th, 2017

IEI Asia, a SEPS project partner in India, aimed to provide clean cooking fuel at village level in the south east of Karnataka state. As part of an upscaling phase of the project supported by WISIONS, an extensive handbook focusing on sustainable farming systems integrated with energy from waste was produced.Read moreMinimize

Biogas generation through the anaerobic digestion of biomass has been carried out successfully in India and other parts of the world for decades. In this SEPS project, biogas was produced mainly from banana stem-waste at small rural banana plantations and then distributed to more than 70 households in the village of Gundigere for cooking purposes. The project has demonstrated that a biogas system can be based solely on stem waste from banana plantations, although the methane generation potential of these parts of the plant is much lower than that of fruit and peel.

IEI’s in-depth handbook offers potential users information on:

  • Integrated banana cultivation, biogas generation and stove-fuel delivery
  • Operation at family/community/village level rather than industrial scale
  • Actual implementation and operation in India
  • Background information on technologies and resources
Download the manual here: IEI Handbook - Sustainable Farming Systems [PDF, 6 MB]