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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RedBioLAC: Exchange of biodigester experiences between Ecuador and Bolivia

News from WISIONS posted on September 24th, 2013

RedBioLAC's latest initiative is to organize South–to-South exchanges where one or more experts with extensive biodigester experience travel to another country to provide emergent biodigester programs with more extensive hands-on training, technology transfer and business model development. During June and July 2013, Jaime Marti (expert in the field of biodigesters from Bolivia) spent three weeks in Ecuador, working with different stakeholders to evaluate and improve the use of biodigesters by conducting field visits, workshops and meetings.Read moreMinimize

He spent time with families using biodigesters in the valley of Intag and visited biodigester projects in Cuenca and San Pedro de Vilcabamab, to name a few. In these regions, 13 biodigesters were evaluated, some of them originally constructed and implemented with the support of WISIONS in 2010.

Contrary to the general wisdom, during the visit, fully subsidized biodigesters were found still operational and in use. Two factors seems to have been influential for the successful adoption (despite 100% subsidy): The digesters are distributed through farmers associations, which provide follow-up and support and all of the systems were connected to stables with cement floors, which make the biodigesters very easy to use, load, and maintain. 

One weakness found in Ecuador, similar to other countries in Latin America, is the lack of a diversity of technologies available. In Ecuador, almost all of the biodigesters are of low-cost plastic. Diversifying the sector with, for example, geomembrane biodigesters or dome models, would strengthen the sector by allowing farmers to choose. Subsidies have been either 100% or 0%. The use of high subsidies can be a tool for rapid diffusion of the technology but with the risk of low adoption and effectiveness -- although in Ecuador the specific conditions of the agroecological producers have proven to lead to high adoption rates.

To scale up the technology in a responsible form, it is necessary to consider the previous experience of other countries with national biodigester programs and adapt them to the Ecuadorian context. Important elements include quality control, certification of technologies and installers, technical assistance, promotion, research and development, fair and sustainable subsidies, and access to micro-credit.

While other countries may be more advanced in terms of the technology, they may lack the social strategies witnessed in Ecuador. As such, the participation of the Ecuadorian stakeholders in RedBioLAC will be useful for the whole network.

On our Facebook page you can find some photos from this exchange.
And  here  you can find the detail report of this exchange (only available in spanish).

Extension of the deadline for the SEPS Call 2013 in S/SE Asia on P/MHP New deadline: October 14th, 2013

News from WISIONS posted on September 12th, 2013

Starting this year, WISIONS initiative is introducing a new structure to SEPS, its supporting scheme. From 2013 onwards, SEPS calls will target specific regions and specific technologies. This will align SEPS with the WISIONS regional partnerships and networks. As a result of this change, instead of one annual global call, SEPS will now launch 2 to 3 regional and technology-specific calls per year.Read moreMinimize

In addition to supporting technical project implementation, SEPS also supports knowledge exchanges within the target region. The first SEPS call in 2013 focuses on the region of Southern Asia and South East Asia and on pico and micro hydro power (P/MHP) technologies. The deadline for submission of applications has been extended to October 14th 2013, 16:00 GMT.      

Find more information on the application process, background and criteria here: 

SEPS Energy Projects

Cooking without firewood in Madagascar

News from WISIONS posted on September 9th, 2013

Deutsche Welle is featuring a video report about solar cookers in Madagascar and the activities of ADES, one of our current project partners. In Madagascar only 6% of the population has access to electricity and generally diesel generators are used for supplying energy. Solar cookers can help save dwindling forests as well as power electric gadgets.Read moreMinimize

Madagascar, once a lush, green island in the Indian Ocean, has seen vast swathes of valuable forestland disappear in recent years. The destruction stems from the growing demand for firewood - families on the island depend on it for cooking and heating. Each year, around 200,000 hectares of forestland are cut down in Madagascar. 

Now, a Swiss aid organization called ADES is hoping it can convince the local population to use solar cookers to cook food. ADES is hoping to wean residents off firewood and restore the island's beautiful forests at the same time. The latest solar cooker models even offer batteries that can be hooked up via USB cable to a variety of other devices, powering everything from radios to lamps.

You can watch the film by Christian Kober here

Read more about our associated project here: Introduction of the ADES Electro-Solar cooker (E-cooker) in Madagascar (SEPS 8)

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