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 call for proposals from Latin America and the Caribbean

News from WISIONS posted on November 25th, 2013

The second SEPS call in 2013 is open! This time we focus on the introduction of energy efficiency, small-scale renewable energy technologies and knowledge exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean. The deadline for submission of applications is 16th January 2014, 4pm GMT.Read moreMinimize

Starting this year, WISIONS initiative introduced a new structure to SEPS, its financial support scheme. From 2013 onwards, SEPS calls target specific regions and specific technologies. This aligns SEPS with the WISIONS regional partnerships and networks. 

Regional Focus 

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)The countries considered in this round of applications are those within the Caribbean, South and Central America, according to UN definition: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm

Thematic focus

This SEPS call is looking for project concepts that demonstrate how to apply small-scale renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures  to meet energy-related needs and improve energy access for Latin American and Caribbean people. For example, projects might aim to meet energy needs for reliable electricity or heat supply, for food processing and conservation, or for water pumping and treatment. 

We are particularly looking to identify projects that address problems/issues that are not yet mainstream and that offer innovative approaches/solutions and stimulate the productive use of sustainable energy. Additionally, we are looking for projects that can influence public opinion and regional decision makers in the field of renewable energy. 

WISIONS promotes two regional networks in LAC; the biogas network RedBioLAC (and its Colombian subsidiary network RedBioCOL) and WindWorks. Therefore, we would be particularly interested in projects and knowledge exchange activities that concentrate on biogas and small wind technologies, but we are also receptive to projects that demonstrate the application of energy efficiency, other renewable energy technologies or hybrid approaches. 

Projects can aim to provide solutions for small individual farmers, agro-businesses or small companies, or can address the aggregated needs at communal or municipal level. Find more information on the application process, criteria and application forms here: SEPS Energy Projects.

International Wind Energy symposium in Lima, Peru

News from WISIONS posted on November 15th, 2013

WISIONS will participate in the International Wind Energy symposium next week in Lima, Peru. It will focus on small-scale developments in the field of wind energy in Latin America.

Biogas systems in the Guatemalan highlands

News from WISIONS posted on November 13th, 2013

Asociación Alterna, a NGO based in Quetzaltenango (Guatemala) implemented one of our SEPS projects between March 2012 and August 2013. Their goal was to demonstrate the feasibility and adequacy of biogas systems for small-scale productive units in the Guatemalan highlands.Read moreMinimize

Subsistence economies that involve growing crops and keeping backyard animals are common among rural and peri-urban households in Guatemala. Processing procedures require energy for cooking, roasting or baking, which is traditionally generated by using firewood and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Biogas systems can translate into a threefold alternative: providing clean fuel (biogas) and organic fertilizer (digestate) by treating organic waste (originating from the farm).

Alterna's approach is based on a partnership with existent organisations that possess a long and strong linkage to local farmers (e.g. cooperatives, farmer associations, NGOs). Through a careful assessment – involving both Alterna's skills and knowledge of the local organisations – 14 pilot sites were selected for the installation of biogas systems. Particular attention was paid to accompanying users through the process of adopting the technology to their daily lives. The strategy comprises a daily journal entry by the users, weekly telephone calls as well as visits every 6-8 weeks during the initial six months of operation.

The intensive monitoring work during this demonstration phase was crucial to reach the current status of the project: By now, 13 systems have been producing gas for at least nine months. The ‘oldest' system is already operating for more than one year. Current biogas users have become the best ‘emissaries' for the technology among neighbours and associates of the involved organisations; not only by showcasing the technology in their farms and informing about their experience, but also by sharing digestates, whose fertilizing effect is receiving growing interest.

Based on the diverse lessons learned, Alterna plans to engage on a further project phase in order to scale up the diffusion of the technology. Yet again, their close partnerships with other organisations will be the baseline for their activities. The main goal is to develop plans and mechanisms with these local organisations, so that the diffusion of biogas solutions eventually becomes an integral part of their services. WISIONS will support this up-scaling phase for the diffusion of biogas technologies in the Guatemalan highlands.

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