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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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]


Enhancing Productive Biogas Use in Mexico

News from WISIONS posted on February 4th, 2016

Our SEPS project "Removing barriers to Greenhouse Gas mitigation in medium scale agricultural livestock activities within Mexico" has been successfully concluded. It was implemented by the International Renewable Resources Institute of Mexico (IRRI) with the main aim of demonstrating the feasibility of utilising biogas technology to further mechanise more than one million medium scale farms in Mexico, improve their productivity and efficiency and reduce their environmental burden. Read moreMinimize
The project comprised two main phases. In the first phase, complete productive biogas and water treatment systems were installed at four medium scale livestock farms (two swine farms and two dairy farms). The biogas is used to meet the thermal energy demand at the farms (space heating for swine maternity areas, hot water for cleaning purposes and energy for cooking) and to generate electricity. In addition to the equipment for biogas production and use, all the systems comprise secondary water components that use aquatic and wetland plants in order to further treat the effluents of the biodigesters. This enables farmers to meet national water quality discharge standards. The economic benefits of these systems are calculated based on the value of energy and fertiliser produced per year; in this way a simple return on investment of less than three years is estimated for the demonstration projects.

In the second phase, the project aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of adapting and applying commercial gasoline motors available in the Mexican market in order to provide mechanical and/or electric power to small and medium farmers by using their biogas. In this phase, there were five significant areas of work: biogas filtration, matching energy production and use, motor sizing and design, grid interconnection, and training and maintenance. Sixteen motors have been adapted and installed by IRRI.

The project has already led to significant advances in the application of biogas for small scale electric power (between 5 and 10 kW) and has opened the door to the further development of the technology. All the installed motors are currently under a monitoring and maintenance regime for the next 12 months to improve data on the operating parameters and benefits of these systems.