PREP Good practices in Sustainable Energy and Resource Efficiency

Through its Promotion of Resource Efficiency Projects (PREP), WISIONS has collected more than 50 examples of good practice from successfully implemented projects.

WISIONS launched 12 international calls for applications from 2004 to 2008, each time inviting submissions on an important issue or topic related to energy or resource efficiency. These examples still serve as a relevant source of new ideas. They illustrate improved ways of developing and implementing similar projects in other parts of the world.

Up to five examples of good practice were selected for each issue or topic and published in PREP brochures. A set of internationally accepted criteria was used to ensure the sustainable character of the projects. Financial, environmental and social aspects were considered alongside technological feasibility. Regional factors acknowledging different needs and potentials were also taken into account.

The 12 issues or topics are grouped into four categories:

1. Technology and need related issues

2. Energy poverty related issues

3. Resource and material efficiency issues

4. Education, Transport and Tourism

WISIONS now funds sustainable energy projects via its Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS) scheme. You will find other examples of good practice on our SEPS Project map.

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1. Technology and need related issues

In five PREP brochures we particularly focused on specific renewable technology options or energy related needs.

Solar Cooling

You will find a comprehensive overview of the technical options for solar cooling and the obstacles it faces at the beginning of this brochure. The practical application of solar-assisted cooling systems is illustrated by examples of good practice from Spain, the USA, Germany and China.

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Renewable energy in the Food Supply Chain

There are several options for using renewable energy for food processing, cooking, baking, etc. The examples given in this brochure cover the use of electricity from biomass for rice processing in Nicaragua, sustainable cooking with biogas in Nigeria and more efficient use of biomass in fuel-efficient stoves in Cambodia. Solar energy can be used in various ways, e.g. for solar dryers in Pakistan or solar cookers in Kenya. The SEPS-funded project on ‘Food processing and conservation through appropriate solar energy technology' gives further examples and showcases the expertise in this area.

 www.solarfood.org

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Water for Energy and Energy for Water

The need for energy and water is high. Both issues are clearly related to each other. Water is a driving agent for hydropower and renewable energy can be a solution to provide water. Combined approaches range from drip irrigation to via photovoltaic (PV) pumping systems or wind powered desalination options.

The high number of downloads of the two related PREP brochures suggests an urgent need for examples of good practice. The projects illustrated in these brochures are located in Nepal, Switzerland, Chile, South Africa, Tibet, the Canary Islands, Guatemala, Peru, Tunisia, the Philippines and Tanzania.

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I. Issue 2004

II. Issue 2008

Biofuel Production

This brochure highlights examples of good practice in the production and use of biofuels. The projects are located in Ghana, India, Austria and Indonesia and include organic farming practices, biodiesel-fuelled energy systems for villages and biodiesel-fuelled buses.

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2. Energy poverty related issues

Almost one third of the world population is using traditional biomass for cooking and have only limited access to modern energy services. Especially in rural areas and urban settlements that are not connected to the grid, people spend up to half of their income for energy purposes, like kerosene for lighting or diesel for generators.

On the other hand, it's widely accepted that access to clean and affordable energy is a prerequisite to achieving sustainable development and reducing poverty.

Many of the highlighted projects in our PREP brochures aim to improve access to energy for people with low income. One brochure deals with this issue in particular.

Sustainable Energy for Poverty Reduction

This brochure brings together examples of good practice of sustainable energy use for alleviating poverty. One option is the use of solar PV to run a small business for mobile phone charging, another possibility is the productive use of water irrigation run by biodiesel. A programme on solar thermal energy aims to increase the awareness of simple renewable energy solutions for poor people. The projects illustrated are from Namibia, Brazil, the Philippines and India.

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Microfinance and Renewable Energy

Microfinance systems aim to provide access to basic financial services for poor people that are not considered creditworthy. Investing in sustainable energy systems (for example using revolving funds) not only addresses basic needs but also promotes small enterprises and production. The projects illustrated are from Peru, South Africa, China and Nepal.

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Renewable energy in the Food Supply Chain

There are several options for using renewable energy for food processing, cooking and baking. In particular for poor people, the switch from using traditional biomass to cleaner or more efficient renewable energies has advantages.

The examples given in this brochure cover the use of electricity from biomass for rice processing in Nicaragua, sustainable cooking with biogas in Nigeria and more efficient use of biomass in fuel-efficient stoves in Cambodia. Solar energy can be used in various ways, e.g. for solar dryers in Pakistan or solar cookers in Kenya. The SEPS-funded project on ‘Food processing and conservation through appropriate solar energy technology' gives further examples and showcases the expertise in this area.

www.solarfood.org

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More examples can be found in our brochures on Water and Energy, Energy in Schools and Resource Efficient Construction (see Downloads to the right).

Most of the projects funded via SEPS are also concerned with improving access to energy for people with low income. SEPS Projects

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3. Resource and Material efficiency issues

The efficient use of both energy and materials is not only an environmental issue; it is also a basic corporate goal. Two PREP brochures highlight projects that address the improvement of resource and energy efficiency in some representative economic sectors.

Corporate Energy and Material Efficiency

Faced with rising energy prices and the limited availability of energy resources, corporate energy efficiency strategies are becoming increasingly important. The examples of good practice presented in this brochure are located in the Slovak Republic, Germany, the UK and Peru. The projects cover the promotion of cleaner production and energy efficiency in companies (particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) and an office paper recycling scheme.

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Resource Efficient Construction

Industrialised countries use about 60 tons of non-renewable natural resources per person per year for building and construction purposes and a high amount of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is due to energy use in buildings and households. The very first PREP brochure, published in 2004, therefore focused on resource efficient construction. Although some years have passed since then, this topic is still very important as there remains significant potential for improving energy and resource efficiency in buildings. The projects presented in this brochure include the retrofitting of buildings, bio-climatic architecture and performance contracting with examples from Germany, Brazil, Slovenia and South Africa.

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4. Education, Transport and Tourism

Energy is related to almost all important areas of life. In three PREP brochures WISIONS addressed the options of more efficient and renewable energy use in schools, transport systems and tourism.

Energy in Schools

Schools usually have a high level of energy consumption and thus also a high potential for more efficient energy use. In parallel, increasing the awareness of young students for environmental issues is most important. Schools are thus ideal teaching grounds for the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. We have found good practice projects in schools around the world - both in developed countries, like Germany and France, and in emerging economies or developing countries like India and Uganda.

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Sustainable Transport

Development often leads to an increased need for mobility. The worldwide increase in number of cars and transportation of goods causes harmful effects on the environment and a growing need for fuels. Thus the current transport systems can mostly not be called sustainable. Nevertheless, innovative strategies do exist for sustainable transport that foster urban public transport. Examples given come from Mexico, Germany, Sweden and Romania.

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Sustainable Tourism

Tourism is an important economic factor for a lot of countries, but on the other hand it is one of the major energy-consuming sectors. Sustainable tourism is a form of industry that attempts to preserve local resources and local culture while at the same time helping to generate income. In this brochure, examples of good practice in sustainable tourism were selected from Tanzania, Germany, Ecuador, Switzerland and Ghana. The projects cover the adoption of renewable energy technologies in hotels as well as raising awareness among travellers.

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