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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Biogas Generation at Colombian Coffee Farms

News from WISIONS posted on August 2nd, 2017

The UTA Foundation is leading an initiative to implement biogas technologies at small coffee farms in four departments of Colombia. The aim of this initiative is to improve the production processes at the plants, as well as enhancing economic, social and environmental aspects of the communities involved.Read moreMinimize

One of our recent SEPS projects under the framework of the Colombian Biomass Network – RedBioCOL – aims to take advantage of the organic waste generated by coffee cultivation and common practices in diversified production processes. Three technologies will be implemented to establish  the energy sovereignty of the farmer organisations: gasification-fuelled cookstoves, tubular plug-flow biodigesters and gasification-fuelled coffee dryers. 

Recent project activities include:

  • Six community networking activities at the different project demonstration sites
  • Surveys on coffee processing and potential biomass use
  • A workshop to exchange experiences on biomass gasification among the participating coffee farming organisations
  • Design of the renewable energy technologies to be implemented

The next working steps will include the implementation of the technologies, monitoring and evaluation activities, training programmes and the creation of promotional materials.


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 takes 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 for the piglets.Read moreMinimize

This project is 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 to serve as pilot project sites. Via surveys and other analyses, the farmers’ needs for biodigesters could be determined, as well as their potential applications of the new technology.

As 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, taking a variety of factors into consideration. Most of the systems have already been installed, and all the installed digesters have started operating. All the users have been trained on how to run and maintain the biodigesters.

The next working steps of this project include monitoring the systems and connecting 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.