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 Wins 2016 National Energy Globe Award for Ecuador

News from WISIONS posted on June 9th, 2016

One of our SEPS projects entitled "Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy" (Creciendo Esmeraldas con Energía Renovable, or “CRECER”) has won the 2016 National Energy Globe Award for Ecuador!Read moreMinimize

The CRECER programme was developed by Green Empowerment and their partners Fundación Ecuatoriana de Tecnología Apropiada (FEDETA) and CorpoEsmeraldas to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural cacao farming families in Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Province, through the holistic implementation of renewable energy technologies, eco-agricultural training programmes, and improved social cohesion.

With funding provided by our SEPS programme, 42 local farmers completed an 80 hour course to improve their cacao cultivation through organic practices, 50 families received training on gender equity, conflict resolution and leadership techniques and 15 community members were trained as technicians/promoters. With the support of these newly trained local experts, 10 biogas digesters and 9 solar cacao dryers were installed. These technologies empower local families, improving cacao yield and quality by providing organic fertiliser and post-harvest processing of a consistent quality, while simultaneously protecting local watersheds, substituting renewable energy for fossil fuels and firewood, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

On June 5th, UN World Environment Day, the national winners of the Energy Globe Award were presented in a global online campaign under the patronage of UNESCO and in cooperation with UNEP. The Energy Globe Award includes 177 participating nations and is the largest and most renowned environmental prize worldwide.

Read the full article here: Green Empowerment Project Wins 2016 National Energy Globe Award for Ecuador

Efficient Use of Excess Energy from Micro Hydro Plants in Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on May 30th, 2016

One of our SEPS projects in Nepal has been successfully concluded. The project aimed to improve the sustainability of the Nishi Dovan MHP by using excess energy for organic vegetable farming and, consequently, providing additional income generating activities for local communities.Read moreMinimize

Management Innovations and Technology Solutions (MIT) implemented an irrigation water lifting technology with energy sourced from under-utilised micro hydro power plants to irrigate mountainous regions of Nepal. The local Kumal community in Western Baglung, where this SEPS project took place, depends mainly on manual labour and fishing. Consequently, lift irrigation provides an appropriate solution for promoting vegetable farming activities, while simultaneously improving the livelihoods of farmers and their families and making micro hydro plants more economic and sustainable.

Several issues and challenges were faced during the project duration. Among these were the inclusion of minority groups, distrust and disparity regarding the managing cooperative, geological challenges, ongoing disputes regarding the construction of the plastic ponds and severe rainfall. However, the community’s commitment, skills and contributions to the project created a conducive working environment and helped solve obstacles and challenges. The project infrastructure (irrigation system) was handed over to the community at the end of the project period. Every household benefiting from the irrigation system has to pay a monthly fee to the managing cooperative, which should also be able to sustain itself (and the new technology) in the future.

This pilot project used only one micro hydro plant to power the lift irrigation systems. Currently, there are 90 micro hydro plants in the Baglung District of Nepal, with a total installed capacity of 2500 kW. 60% of the excess energy from all the plants could be used to power lift irrigation, which would result in a water capacity of 12,734 m3/day that could be lifted to a height of 150 metres, irrigating 600 ha of land. Large-scale implementation in Nepal would require close cooperation between government authorities, stakeholders and the ministry of irrigation, industry and commerce.

More general information is available on our SEPS project page: Using excess energy from existing MHPs to create sustainable income generating activity in Nepal

Rebuilding Infrastructure for Sustainable Energy Access in Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on May 9th, 2016

One of our SEPS projects aims to rebuild infrastructure which was destroyed by an earthquake in central Nepal during April and May 2015. The second working phase of this project, which is being implemented in the Gorkha District of Nepal (the epicentre of the 7.8 M earthquake and one of the highly affected districts), has now been successfully completed.Read moreMinimize

The 2015 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks triggered landslides and other geo-hazards causing massive destruction. This also affected the micro hydro power plants which had been installed by Practical Action in 2013 and 2014. After the earthquake, all these MHPs were destroyed and became non-operational. Consequently, the 14 energy-based enterprises which had been established during the project period were also no longer able to operate.

As communities and entrepreneurs had invested money in the MHPs and enterprises, they faced huge losses. In the first project phase, the main focus was on ensuring community participation and mobilisation of NGO partners, as well as related stakeholders, to better understand the recovery and reconstruction needs of both the communities and the MHPs. In the recently completed second phase, the District Development Committee (the local government organisation responsible for planning and coordinating all development activities in the district) accepted the project as part of its annual development plan. 

Furthermore, a detailed feasibility study of 6 MHPS was carried out to determine their reconstruction needs. Based on this study, an expert team of consultants developed a detailed earthquake-resistant design to ensure that when the MHPs are rebuilt, aftershocks and future earthquakes will not hamper their operation. In the next stage of the project, three selected communities will be helped to contract MHP installers to reconstruct the systems and associated infrastructure.

More general information is available on our project page: RISE - Rebuilding Infrastructure for Sustainable Energy Access.

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