WISIONS of Sustainability
Our mission is to empower individuals and communities to transform the production and use of energy so that it effectively enables sustainable development. Read more about WISIONS activities, goals and background.
Watershed Development and Conservation in the Ancestral Forests of Ulu Papar (Malaysia)
News from WISIONS posted on September 23rd, 2016
Since 2014, Green Empowerment and Tonibung have been providing the villages of Pongobonon, Lokogungan and Kalangaan with access to clean water and renewable electricity. These villages are located in the forests of Ulu Papar, within the Malaysian state of Sabah’s Crocker Range. As a community-based project, the initiative relied on the indigenous Dusun residents themselves to act as the main driving force, with technical and administrative support from Green Empowerment and Tonibung.
The aim was to construct three micro-hydro power systems in the villages. From a technical perspective, each system posed unique design challenges: Pongobonon’s watersource consisted of large, immovable boulders, necessitating the use of a coanda intake. In Kalangaan, the team was forced to innovate in its design and construction approach due to the location being inaccessible by vehicles. Locally available construction materials were favoured in order to minimise the need to carry in steel and cement. Several challenges were also faced in Longkogungan; for example, its remote location posed signifcant logistical challenges, but offered an ideal site for Janathakshan’s concrete turbine.
The final stages in this SEPS project are:
- To complete the installation of the Longkogungan micro-hydro system, and the concrete turbine training sessions at the site
- To complete the installation of the pre-paid meters, as well as the training sessions for credit vendors in all three villages
- To complete the installation of water filters in Kalangaan and Longkogungan
- To hold official handover ceremonies in each village
Meet the WISIONS Team at the Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids Conference
News from WISIONS posted on September 20th, 2016
Due to the intermittency of solar radiation, solar energy technologies include storage functionalities in order to make energy available for 24 hours a day. There are a number of new developments in the pipeline and components on the market for storing solar thermal heat and renewable electricity.
Whereas solar heating is usually consumed where it is produced, autonomous solar electricity increasingly tends to be integrated as well into mini grids (also called micro grids). Hybrid PV Mini Grids are a cost-effective and a quicker alternative to grid extension or to unreliable grids for many villages.
Therefore, an intelligent mix of the above technologies and micro grids is capable of providing electricity and thermal comfort not only at household level, but also to entire villages, institutions, hotels, and businesses. This also opens the door to bottom up approaches to energy planning and development.
This year's event, organised by OTTI, will bring together academia, practitioners, industry and development institutions with the aim of sharing experiences and the latest technology developments, learning from each other and networking.
On Thursday (22nd September), the WISIONS team will participate in a session on rural electricity and present a study entitled "Does Access to Energy Lead to Sustainable Development? – Evidence from Small Community-Based Projects". The full conference programme is available here.
7th International Sustainability Transitions Conference in Wuppertal, Germany
News from WISIONS posted on September 6th, 2016
The conference is the annual opportunity to share theoretical, empirical and practical advances in the field of sustainability transitions. The conference is part of the activities of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN) and is linked to the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (EIST).
Sustainability transitions are transformations of major socio-technical systems of provision and use in areas such as energy, water, mobility and food towards more sustainable societies. Sustainability transitions research is a multi-disciplinary field with inputs from economics, science and technology studies, geography, political science, management, sociology and history. It is also a transdisciplinary field in the sense that it focuses on “real-world problems”, is impact- and solution-oriented, and aims at fostering societal change towards sustainable development.
The theme for this year’s IST conference is “Exploring Transition Research as Transformative Science”. Contributions will focus on the conceptual and methodological challenges of transformative science, i.e. research that is actively involved in societal transformation processes. We want to reflect on the challenges and lessons learned in concrete research projects, on theoretical contributions advancing our understanding of transitions, and on the role of science and scientists involved in transitions to sustainability. We will also focus on the broad range of issues and debates in sustainability transitions research.
The WISIONS team, as member of the Wuppertal Institute, will actively participate in the conference.
More information on the IST is available here.