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 Generation at Colombian Coffee Farms

News from WISIONS posted on February 14th, 2018

The UTA Foundation is currently leading an initiative to implement biogas technologies at small coffee farms in four districts of Colombia. The aim of this initiative is to improve the production processes at the plants, as well as enhancing economic, social and environmental aspects of the communities involved.Read moreMinimize

One of our recent SEPS projects under the framework of the Colombian Biomass Network – RedBioCOL – aims to make use of the organic waste generated by coffee cultivation and common practices in diversified production processes. Three technologies will be implemented to establish the energy sovereignty of the farmer organisations: gasification-fuelled cookstoves, tubular plug-flow biodigesters and gasification-fuelled coffee dryers.

Construction and implementation activities related to the technologies have recently been carried out at a number of coffee farms. Furthermore, training sessions were run at UTA’s headquarters, during which the input of coffee into a drying unit and the operation of a corresponding biomass gasifier were demonstrated for 6 consecutive hours. This practical display is important because most participating farmer organisations are familiarising themselves with biogas technology for the first time.

Other workshops aimed at disseminating the results of the project among various local and regional actors, as well as targeting university students who have expressed interest in becoming involved in monitoring activities.

Workshop: Knowledge Sharing Between Micro-Hydro Practitioners

News from WISIONS posted on February 3rd, 2018

One of our most recent SEPS Exchange Activities in Nepal aims to expand the knowledge base among technically sound but managerially and financially weak micro-hydro plants to ensure their sustainable commercial operation. Read moreMinimize

In Nepal, micro-hydro power generation is already widespread. Nevertheless, challenges such as poor management, weak technical skills and poor financial operation prevent community-owned micro-hydro plants (MHPs) from making a lasting impact on people’s livelihoods.

Our project partners at WINROCK have recently organised a knowledge-sharing workshop between the owners and operators of five malfunctioning and three successfully operating MHPs in Nepal.

Specific objectives of the workshop included:

  • To survey current managerial issues and challenges faced by MHPs and to establish informal relationships among MHP user committee members to assess contributing factors
  • To share findings of a baseline study with the participants
  • To share MHP success stories and best practices to resolve management issues
  • To carry out field visits at successfully operating MHPs
  • The development by each MHP of an action plan to improve their performance

The participants gained a lot of knowledge from each other and will apply this to their MHP operations in the coming months.

More general information is available on our SEPS project page: Sharing Learning Across Projects: Operating Micro Hydro Plants (MHP) as Commercially Viable Enterprises

Micro-Hydro Power Resource & Services Centre in Pakistan

News from WISIONS posted on January 24th, 2018

One of our SEPS projects aims to improve the reliability and sustainability of micro-hydro power plants in Chitral, Pakistan. A "Resource & Service Centre", established by our partners GFA Entec, is providing servicing and training infrastructure to local communities operating micro-hydro plants.Read moreMinimize

International experience has shown that it is almost impossible to operate technical infrastructure in rural areas on a sustainable basis without the support of regular and effective maintenance and repair services. This is the case in Chitral, a landlocked district in Pakistan, where many of the micro-hydro power plants were built prior to 2009, are poorly designed and are operated by inadequately trained personnel.

The Micro-Hydro Resource & Service Centre (MRSC) specifically aims to improve the sustainable operation of micro-hydro plants by providing economically sustainable maintenance and repair services. Therefore, the MRSC is managed in a business-like manner and provides its services on a commercial basis. Communities operating micro-hydro plants have to pay appropriate fees for training and product servicing.

The MRSC was launched in October 2017 with a number of introductory and promotional workshops. The centre consists of a fully equipped workshop suitable for making major repairs and overhauling micro-hydro equipment. The MRSC also hosts training facilities for regular operator training sessions and refresher courses. The key feature is the servicing infrastructure, which is maintained by well-trained service technicians working both at the MRSC and at a number of remote servicing points throughout the Chitral district. The remote servicing point technicians provide preventive maintenance and basic repair services in a defined servicing zone consisting of around 20 micro-hydro plants.

The concept is not technology specific and could be replicated in virtually any rural infrastructure context.

More general information is available on our SEPS Project page: Micro Hydro Power Resource & Services Centre in Chitral, Pakistan

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