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 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 of 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 possess potential to harness high volumes of biomass feedstock for bioenergy generation through their agricultural and livestock activities. In addition to emissions produced by the use of fossil fuels, waste disposal related to poor waste management practices is an associated environmental challenge.

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

Recently, they have successfully carried out the following activities:

  • The formation of a cooperative: “Cooperativa de Servicios y Consumo Los Pinos Ltda." (e.g. responsible for waste classification)
  • The training of people for technical operation and maintenance of the biogas plant
  • Design of feedstock management and storage (including construction of a predigestion chamber)
  • The 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

Financing Renewable Energy in South East Asia: Insights From Practitioners

News from WISIONS posted on May 2nd, 2018

WISIONS supported Nexus for Development's workshop "Financing Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia", which was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in December 2017. The event was an opportunity to address the current challenges entrepreneurs face when trying to access finance in Southeast Asia.Read moreMinimize

This knowledge exchange activity aimed to explore and share successful financial models, as well as identify the specific factors that make different models relevant and replicable in their context. The following are the main insights and lessons learned during the event.

Renewable energy entrepreneurs and financiers greatly appreciated the workshop as it provided a unique opportunity to exchange insights and experiences with other stakeholders in the sector. The workshop was uniquely designed to cater to the attendees. The discussions and events specifically focused on identifying gaps in existing financial tools and specific barriers experienced that limit access to finance in the region.

Several trends throughout the region were discussed during the conference. From the entrepreneur perspective, challenges to accessing finance are often linked to the lack of flexibility from traditional financiers and the limited suitability of products offered. Entrepreneurs also identified not being aware of or understanding existing financial options. From the investor perspective, the main barriers to providing finance to entrepreneurs include the lack of financial literacy and a misalignment of risk and return expectations.

Overall, the attendees were generally optimistic towards seeing more financing options in the region. There have been several successful and innovative financing schemes developed that can serve as
a model to be replicated in new geographies and sectors. These schemes and any new ones would still have to be tailored to geography and sector due to the inherent uncertainty in most developing regions. In any regards, additional capital is needed to continue supporting the work of energy entrepreneurs.

Following the event success, Nexus will continue to create opportunities for dialogue to foster mutual understanding and improved collaboration among like-minded entrepreneurs and financiers. Nexus will continue mapping and monitoring financing schemes for clean energy in the region, and hopes to inspire innovation and ultimately increase investments for the benefit of energy entrepreneurs working for the sustainable development of Southeast Asia.

Demonstrating The Potential Of Integrating A Micro Hydro Solar Hybrid System With The National Grid

News from WISIONS posted on April 18th, 2018

One of our SEPS projects in India aimed to integrate an existing micro hydro power unit into the national grid to prevent it from becoming non-operational and to demonstrate the potential of a grid-connected micro hydro solar hybrid system.Read moreMinimize

Access to reliable electricity is a significant contributor for better living conditions, sustainable development and economic growth in rural areas. Lack of this access has negative impacts on education, health, employment and irrigation – touching many aspects of life and livelihood. Micro grids have often been applied to bring electrification to remote rural areas in developing countries; they usually use local renewable energy sources, such us solar, wind, hydro or biomass. Micro grids often operate in isolation from the central grid or off-grid, but the extension of the central grids to rural areas provides opportunities to interconnect existing micro grids with national or regional electricity infrastructure.

In India, evidence shows that villagers often choose to adopt a connection to the grid. Interconnection of the micro-grids with the national grid can offer local people a more reliable electricity supply, it can ensure the sustainability of micro-generation systems, and it may provide an opportunity for operators or local community to increase revenue by selling surplus electricity to the utility.

WISIONS' project partners Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective (AIREC) have concluded their activities, which started in October 2015. These included:

  • Successful socialisation activities within the communities
  • The technical assessment of an existing micro hydro plant
  • The design and supply of a 5 kW solar PV power plant
  • Various civil works (renovation of micro hydro plant, installation/connection of solar PV power plant)
  • The design and supply of an intelligent circuit controller system (managing the available electricity)
  • The connection to a 415 V Main Board to support grid connectivity

This is the first project of its kind in India (integrating a very small hydro project with a) solar technologies and b) to the national grid). The successful demonstration of this system will facilitate the replication of such plants in North-Eastern states and other states in India.

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