We have again been busy in recent months with a variety of WISIONS activities worldwide. Our September newsletter includes an overview of all WISIONS activities, project news, publications and events. If you have any questions about specific content, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
With best regards,
Your WISIONS Team
RedBioLAC (Red de Biodigestores para Latino América y el Caribe) will hold their 11th annual conference between 14-18 October in Varadero, Cuba. The topic of this year is “Biodigesters: An agroecological option in the rural context”. RedBioLAC now represents a large group of professionals working in different fields on biodigester technology in the region. The network has been consolidated at regional level and has become a space for virtual exchange as an effective form of sharing information about biodigester technology.
As a framework for the work that the network promotes, RedBioLAC hosts an annual conference providing the opportunity for face-to-face meetings. The conference is held at a different location each year. The spirit of the conference is to exchange knowledge in the broad sense of the word (from the perspectives of the user and the digester installers, as well as those involved in research and development, financing and implementation etc.) in order to connect participants from various sectors related to biodigester technology and to demonstrate examples of research and implementation throughout the region, as well as sharing lessons learned.
Find out more about the conference and register here!
In preparation for the 11th RedBioLAC Annual Conference in Cuba, CIBiogás and RedBioLAC, with the support of WISIONS of Sustainability and Green Empowerment, are offering the online course “Domestic Scale Biodigesters.” RedBioLAC and CIBiogás have created this online course with WISIONS support. The objective is to learn about dimensions, construction, materials, installation, biogas energy use, production and biodigester application. The course provides participants with information to read, videos, forums for exchange and evaluation activities. It will take around 60 hours to complete over about one month. The course and the conference requires registration fees for the participants, which can be found below! Please bear in mind that the course will be in Spanish!
For more information and to register only for the online course, please follow this link to the CIBiogás course portal. For details on the registration fees for the conference, technical tours and the face-to-face course at place, please click on this link. Please also note: Participants who wish to attend the dual course (online and face-to-face) of the RedBIOLAC Annual Conference in Cuba 2019, must register on the event website: www.encuentroredbiolac.org
Risha Piya: Programme Specialist at Winrock International Nepal
Ayu Abdullah: Co-Founder and Regional Director for Southeast Asia at Energy Action Partners ( Slides from Ayu Abdallah )
Iskander Kuntoadji: Founder of IBEKA, the People Centered Business and Economic Institute Indonesia
Collective research and hindsight from the Hydro Empowerment Network reveals that the long-term sustainability and impact of hydro mini-grids is dependent on how well a project is run as a viable and inclusive enterprise. This webinar featured mini-grid practitioners in South and Southeast Asia who are leading the transition from grant-dependent to enterprise-based micro and mini hydropower projects. The webinar specifically highlighted the following points:
After Green Empowerment and Janathakshan jointly organised successful biogas training in Sri Lanka in 2018 for participants from Malaysia and the Philippines, a series of follow-up training sessions and the installation of three biodigesters was organised in Malaysia.
The first two took place in March 2018 and October 2018, with the third and final session taking place this year in Nampasan Village, Sabah State, Malaysia. The focus of the training was to design and install a tubular biodigester based on the model widely installed in Latin America. The training was geared toward practitioners who will work with community members to install biodigesters. Staff from TONIBUNG, KOPEL, and PACOS Trust, as well as two youth volunteers from CLEAR, a local NGO, participated. The training consisted of one day of theoretical knowledge transfer on the design and operation of the digesters, followed by two days of hand-on training installing the tubular digester. The digester was installed at CLEAR’s pig farm, where the capability of the technology could be demonstrated. The results of this installed biogas digester are impressive: 230 litres of biol and 3.095 litres of biogas per day, which is enough to cook for 10 hours or to cook for 5 hours and burn 2 gas lamps for 6 hours each.
Read more about the project here: Exchange: Waste to Wisdom: Supporting Biodigester Practitioners in South East Asia (SEPS15)
This collaborative project between Green Empowerment, Tonibung and Sibat aims to promote capacity-building and technology access to Southeast and East Asian micro-hydro practitioners. Recently, the project offered intensive two-week courses on Electronic Load Controller (ELC) technology, which is the crucial component for ensuring that a micro-hydro system functions properly.
The in-person exchange was organised by Tonibung and Green Empowerment and was held at the Centre for Renewable Energy and Technology (CREATE) in Sabah State, Malaysia, with participants from various regions in Southeast Asia.
The participants learned about the theory of designing ELCs and then applied their new knowledge in hands-on sessions, giving them an overall insight into the technology. All the participants showed commitment and enthusiasm to learning about ELC technology and maintained their motivation throughout the sessions, which consisted of 3+ hours of theory each morning and 10-12 hours of practical sessions every day.
Having completed this course, the participants can now build off-the-shelf ELC devices in their home countries. Furthermore, the participants discussed collaboration opportunities with academic institutions and research organisations in order to continue advancing innovations in ELC technology. One participant even made a commitment to establishing a manufacturing branch in his own workshop dedicated to ELC development. Overall, the exchange was greatly appreciated by the participants, who were happy to share their experiences with practitioners from other countries in Southeast Asia.
Find our more about the knowledge exchange here: Exchange: Strengthening Open-Source ELC Development in Southeast Asia (SEPS16)
Read more about the device from HPNET: TONIBUNG develops Canary Load Indicator Device
On 17th June 2019, WISIONS organised a Deep Dive Workshop (DDW) with our partner HPNET at the ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2019 in Manila. The workshop, "Hydro Mini-Grids in the Asia-Pacific: Scaling Inclusive Enterprise-Based Approaches", aimed to provide development partners and professionals with the opportunity to understand recent innovative approaches to sustainable small-scale hydropower in terms of economic viability and social impact. Key experts from a broad cross-section of government officials, the private sector, NGOs, civil society and financiers were invited to be the panellists for the workshop. The experiences shared demonstrated that in recent years there has been a transition to innovative ownership, management and financing models for mini-grid development – with sufficient income generated to ensure the financial viability and sustainable operation of small-scale hydro projects.
In the first of the two panel sessions, moderated by Divyam Nagpal at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) venue, the presenters provided two examples from Nepal. Bir Bahadu Ghale is a self-made entrepreneur who installed a small micro-hydro plant in his village in the early 1990s. With a focus on productive use from the outset, he now has more than 60 enterprises and offers services across Nepal. Further contributions to the discussion and examples from Indonesia and Myanmar came from Sandra Winarsa of Hivos and Dipti Vaghela from HPNET, as well as from Meherban Khan who described the broad experiences of public utility companies under the Rural Support Programme of Aga Khan in Pakistan.
In the second panel session, the speakers discussed how to accelerate the transition to enterprise-based hydro mini-grids. One focus of the session, moderated by Bikash Pandey from Winrock International and advisor to HPNET, was on the opportunities for scaling enterprise-based hydro mini-grids in terms of transitioning grant-dependent models to credit-financed enterprise models and also establishing new projects with enterprise-based approaches. Contributors included Tri Mumpuni of IBEKA/Indonesia and Senator Adrian Banie Lasimbang of the Malaysian Government, as well as Sherzad Ali Khan from AKDN (the Aga Khan Development Network in Pakistan) and U Aung Myint from REAM/Myanmar.
Solutions discussed for overcoming barriers to scalability included building local institutional capacity and accessing both local finance and development finance. In summary, the DDW provided development partners and professionals with the opportunity to understand recent innovative approaches to sustainable small-scale hydropower in terms of economic viability and social impact.
Find out more about the workshop here: Deep Dive Workshop
More information about the conference at the Asian Development Bank: Asia Clean Energy Forum
Further information about the event by HPNEt, please follow this Link!
The Jujuy province in the far northwest of Argentina can be described as mostly rural. Since the local mining sector is declining in its importance to the Argentinian economy, Jujuy is experiencing the shortcomings of industrial transformation. Under these circumstances, Fundacion EcoAndina provides alternatives and promotes solar energy to the local communities and educational institutions as a mean of making Jujuy more sustainable and establishing sustainable economic development in the region.
For around three decades, Fundación EcoAndina has been developing and promoting solar-based energy solutions that respond to the conditions and needs of the population in the Andean ‘Altiplano’. In an effort to spread knowledge and improve building capacities, the Environment and Energy Interpretation Centre (CEDIERA) has been established in San Salvador, the capital city of the province. WISIONS supported EcoAndina in its goal of disseminating an invaluable repertoire of experiences and knowledge among a broad set of actors in the region and nationwide. This has been advanced along two main strategic lines:
In the first semester, around 100 technical students attended training courses on solar energy technologies at the centre. These training sessions emphasise the practical application of solar technologies and the content has developed from actual experiences gathered by EcoAndina. In order to raise awareness among the wider population of the city, EcoAndina participated at local events, such as “World Environment Day” and “Global Pulse Day”, in which participants could experience the functionality of locally-produced solar devices like solar cookers and solar heaters.
The second strategic line has translated in the last few months into diverse educational events in three villages in the province (Abra Pampa, Humahuaca and Tilcara). The topics responded to the specific interests of the local organisations that co-organised the events. These ranged from courses on solar energy for students from a technical institute in Abra Pampa to the presentation of the “EcoSolar House” at a conference in Tilcara organised by Jujuy’s architectural college, and the training of students and teachers from a school in Humahuaca where a photovoltaic system had recently been installed. Provincial educational institutions have recognised the value of EcoAndina’s experiences and knowledge and have approached the foundation to develop school curricula on renewable energy for primary and secondary schools, as well as training courses for technical students.
WISIONS support has enabled Fundacion EcoAndina to become a prominent and well-respected actor in the field of energy development, and the foundation is now also involved in provincial and national debates on energy education and policies. From the perspective of WISIONS, it is exciting to see how our financial support has enabled a local NGO in rural Argentina to create impact and become an institution for renewable energy promotion in the region.
Find out more information about the work of Fundacion EcoAndina on their website or Facebook Page, both of which feature their latest activities and their aims for raising awareness in Jujuy of renewable energy opportunities.
Access to finance and knowledge are essential conditions for the success and up-scaling of sustainable energy projects. Nexus for Development (Nexus), supported by WISIONS, developed an online mapping tool of available financing options for energy entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia that includes a knowledge-sharing platform with beneficial information for scaling up projects and increasing impact, assembled under the umbrella of the programme, ”Leveraging Innovative Finance Together” (LIFT).
Following a long period of research and dialogue between stakeholders, NEXUS gathered the data collected into an online visualisation tool, the Finance Solution Map. This tool identifies 125 existing financing options for users, who can filter potential funding opportunities according to their project demands. This online tool is currently the largest directory of financing schemes in the field of renewable energy in Southeast Asia. In addition to the Finance Solutions Map, the online LIFT programme summarises the information gathered by NEXUS from training sessions, workshops, articles, case studies, knowledge content, webinars, reports and the finance solutions directory, including the exchanges conducted in partnership with WISIONS. By providing this information, the LIFT programme intends to address barriers to knowledge and finance, and accelerate sustainable and renewable energy technology entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia.
To learn more about the exchange programme itself, click here: Exchange: Demand-Side Solutions to Financing Sustainable Energy in Southeast Asia (SEPS16)
Practical Action Nepal successfully implemented the “Community Managed Energy Service for Vegetable Market Chain” project in Nepal with the financial support of WISIONS, showcasing an innovative best-practice business model for solar water lifting technology in agricultural farmlands.
The overall aim was to demonstrate the viability of an innovative business model that makes use of impact investment and grants for a community-managed irrigation system using a Photovoltaic Pumping System (PVPS). This goal-orientated investment promoted commercial vegetable farming and the strengthening of the vegetable market chain in the Nepalese villages concerned and established a best-practice example for future public-private partnerships in the context of financing clean energy technology.
The Nepalese Government has recognised the benefit of such a business model and provided the opportunity for 60% subsidies in such investments. The remaining 40% is levied by private sector investment participation, where the given business model creates a “win-win situation” for both the private investors and poor farmers receiving access to clean energy technology.
The validated innovative business model, combined with tailor-made training sessions for farmers (on improved agricultural practices as well as organisational and marketing issues), could benefit over 60% of smallholder farmers – who still rely on subsistence farming and water their crops with monsoon rain. Effectively, this could lead to the displacement of unsustainable diesel engines, address issues associated with unreliable grid electricity and reach out to poor farmers who do not yet have energy access. However, to reach this potential it will be necessary to encourage private investment in the next few years to complement the publicly-financed subsidies issued by the Nepalese government.
Wuppertal Institute for Climate,
Environment and Energy GmbH
Postbox: 10 04 80/ D-42004 Wuppertal
Tel: +49 (0) 202. 2492 252
Telefax: +49 (0) 202. 2492 198