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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Next Webinar: “Great Expectations – Productive Uses of Energy Off the Grid”

News from WISIONS posted on June 28th, 2018

On 9th July at 2:00 PM CEST WISIONS will host the fourth in a series of webinars 2018. It is entitled "Great Expectations – Productive Uses of Energy Off the Grid". Register now!Read moreMinimize

Register now for our upcoming webinar on 9th July!

Great expectations abound for the so-called “productive uses of energy”. These uses of energy go well beyond solar lamps and cell phone charging. They aim to fundamentally improve livelihoods for people living beyond the grid by powering computers, agricultural machinery, and more.

Funders increasingly support energy projects and programmes that use energy productively. The assumption is that using energy for productive uses will enhance social and economic development and help reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The productive uses of energy could certainly help to reach these goals, as many examples attest. However, systematic evidence of these outcomes and impacts is still limited and questions remain:

Which complementary services are necessary to establish productive uses? Do productive uses of energy contribute to social and economic development? Why do many energy projects fall short to establish productive activities? Is there a tipping point for the amount of energy that will have the greatest impact? Which “productive” activities should be supported, and who will benefit?

Join us in this webinar to discuss these important questions. You will also receive an overview of the current state of evidence on productive uses of energy and learn about pitfalls and successes along the way to improving livelihoods across the Global South.

Our experts this month include:

Register now!

In the meantime watch our previous webinars: WISIONS Webinar Series


Biogas Demonstration Unit For Sustainable Rural Energy Development in Argentina

News from WISIONS posted on May 7th, 2018

One of our recent SEPS projects aims to tackle the issues of rural energy scarcity, high volumes of biomass feedstock and problems associated with waste disposal by installing an anaerobic biodigester in the region of Los Pinos, Balcarce, Argentina.Read moreMinimize

As in other countries, small rural communities in Argentina have a scarce supply of energy but have the potential to harness high volumes of biomass feedstock from their agricultural and livestock activities for bioenergy generation. In addition to emissions produced by using fossil fuels, waste disposal related to poor waste management practices is an associated environmental challenge.

The project is being led by INTA and CONICET, organisations devoted to developing sustainable innovation and transformation, together with FCA–UNMdP.

Recently, they have successfully carried out the following activities:

  • Creation of a cooperative: “Cooperativa de Servicios y Consumo Los Pinos Ltda." (responsibilities include waste classification)
  • Training of people for the technical operation and maintenance of the biogas plant
  • Design of feedstock management and storage (including construction of a predigestion chamber)
  • Installation of a biogas plant with a potential power generation of 25 kW, as well as gas pipelines

Find more general information on this project on our SEPS project page: Biogas Demonstration Unit for Sustainable Rural Energy Development in the Humid Pampas of Argentina


What If The Grid Arrives? How Off-Grid Renewable Energy Projects Have Adapted To Grid Arrival

News from WISIONS posted on April 24th, 2018

Off-grid renewable energy projects sometimes remain off-grid in the long-term. But in some cases, the national electricity grids reach these areas, leaving communities, governments, and other stakeholders with major decisions to make. In this webinar, we have shed light on the experiences faced across the global south through case studies and heard first-hand what happens when the grid arrives.Read moreMinimize
Moderator: Molly Hurley Depret

Speakers:
Chris Greacen, Palang Thai (further links to his books, see below)
Rebecca Leaf, Association of Rural Development Workers Benjamin Linder (ATDER-BL, Nicaragua)
Junaed Tazdik, IDCOL Assistant Manager, SHS Program
Mafruda Rahman, Green Climate Fund (GCF) unit of IDCOL

You can find the recorded webinar below and all the individual slides of the recording above are also available here: WISIONS Webinar GridArrival All ppts190418light

How can small-scale renewable energy projects adapt and plan for national grid expansion? What will become of these stand-alone renewable energy systems or micro-grid solutions? Will they sustain and survive? Can and shall they become connected to the grid? What are preconditions and challenges? And how can communities with off-grid systems best plan and prepare for this possibility?

In principle, off-grid mini-grids powered by micro-hydro, solar PV or by combination of renewable energy technologies (hybrid generation) can be connected to the national grid. However, many technical, regulatory, and management challenges remain. For other solutions, such as solar home systems, the question is whether they are sustainable and might be a good and independent alternative to the grid – especially if the grid does not offer stable service. In the worst case, however, the grid's arrival can lead to the abandonment of off-grid systems and a loss not only of the financial and resource investments, but possibly also of jobs, technical know-how, and autonomy.

What will become of these stand-alone renewable energy systems or micro-grid solutions? Will they sustain and survive? Can and shall they become connected to the grid? What are preconditions and challenges? And how can communities with off-grid systems best plan and prepare for this possibility?

Links to linked literature:

http://tiny.cc/BottomUp
http://tiny.cc/gridarrival