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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SEPS Project: Improving the Value Chain of Cacao Production in Ecuador

News from WISIONS posted on September 28th, 2015

One of our SEPS projects, entitled "Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy", aims to improve cacao production and processing in Ecuador in ways that also restore the region's fragile natural environment and improve lives and livelihoods, while enhancing the resilience of rural communities in the face of climate change.Read moreMinimize

While the overall project design and feasibility study were part of last year’s activities, the recent project phase included the implementation of renewable energy technologies such as biodigesters and solar dryers, as well as the delivery of training programmes to secure their installation, use and management. Training sessions also included the dissemination of know-how on improving cacao cultivation and subsequent market access for local produce.

Over the course of the last few months, ten individual family-owned biodigesters have been successfully installed. Furthermore, three of the nine envisaged solar dryers for cacao are in operation, with the remaining six to be installed in the coming weeks. 

More than 80 hours of practical field training on improving cacao bean cultivation have been delivered to over 40 participants, while 15 local operators have received hands-on experience in the use, maintenance and management of the new technologies. Consultations and negotiations with cacao value chain actors to ensure appropriate prices for sustainably produced cacao from CRECER’s communities are still ongoing.

More general information is available on our project page Growing Esmeraldas with renewable energy and additional photos are on the WISIONS Facebook page.


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


2014 SEPS Call in Southern and South East Asia

News from WISIONS posted on September 16th, 2014

Our 2014 SEPS call is still open for applications! On this occasion we are looking for project concepts that demonstrate how to apply (small-scale) renewable energy technologies to improve the productivity, environmental performance and social integration of food value chains. Additionally, we are also looking for exchange activities that can strengthen the capabilities of practitioners and local organizations working in the field of applied renewable energy technologies in food value chains. The deadline for the submission of applications is 29th October 2014, 3 pm GMT.Read moreMinimize

For a list of countries in Southern and South East Asia see the UN definition.

You can apply for project support if your project or exchange concept demonstrates how renewable energy technologies can be integrated into food value chains not only to minimise the negative environmental impacts (e.g. the contamination of soil and water), but also to improve the social and economic capital (e.g. greater employment opportunities) of the local population in Southern and South East Asia.

Find more information on the application process and application criteria here. For a list of previous SEPS projects, go to SEPS Energy Projects

Download the SEPS 2014 Project Application Form or the SEPS 2014 Exchange Application Form here.