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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WISIONS at the SDEWES Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia

News from WISIONS posted on October 8th, 2013

From September 22-27 2013, WISIONS participated in the 8th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Read moreMinimize

The SDEWES Conference has become a significant venue for researchers in the areas of sustainability to meet, originate, discuss, share and disseminate new ideas.

WISIONS presented the results of the 2012 evaluation report on small scale sustainable energy projects that were supported by Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS) from 2004 to 2008. The projects encompass biomasssolarwindhydroelectric power and efficient lighting technologies. 

You can request your copy of this evaluation report by email: Contact

Reactivation of domestic biodigesters in Yunnan, China

News from WISIONS posted on September 24th, 2013

In China, high numbers of biogas digesters have been constructed, though the long term use of the technology is often uncertain. The goal of this project was to develop a system for after-installation services in the region, which contribute first to reactivate dysfunctional digesters and to provide adequate technical assistance to users of biodigesters, in a sustainable way. Read moreMinimize

The project was coordinated by the Center of Biogas Engineering and Technology (CBET) in Kunming, Yunnan, China. A baseline survey was conducted in 8 counties (mainly from the Yuxi region). The results of this survey suggest that around 60% of the biodigesters were dysfunctional, i.e. they were unable to produce enough biogas to boil one bottle of water.

The main objective of the project was to develop and establish a post-installation service system which can attend the needs of biogas users of the region. The project strategy comprised several stakeholder meetings, consultation and dissemination seminars, demonstrations and trainings for users, as well as capacity building for technicians covering not only technical issues but also to improve communication skills.

During project implementation, 2003 dysfunctional biodigesters were reactivated. This is a lot more than the previously proposed 200 sets. Furthermore, four post-installation service teams are now on duty to keep the renovated biodigesters up and running and to maximize the benefits of Chinese biogas in the future.

The project coordinators have also published the results of their work in a scientific paper that you can access online here.

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).

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