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.

News Blog

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Low-Head Pico-Hydro Technology in Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on July 4th, 2016

One of our current SEPS projects in Nepal recently completed its first phase of project activities. Our partner organisation "People, Energy and Environment Development Association (PEEDA)" is mobilising local communities to install low head propeller turbines in two communities, namely Toksel and Katunje, in the Terai region of Nepal. Read moreMinimize

The project was originally intended for the Madi municipality in the Chitwan District of Nepal, but a detailed feasibility study revealed that the local water flow rate in the that municipality was not sufficient for installation of the foreseen MHP capacity. Thus, the project team shifted activities to the Okhaldunga District. The two units, of 3kW (Toksel) and 1kW (Katunje) will provide electricity to 31 households in total.

The field visits which were carried out as part of the feasibility study gave insights into the required technical parameters and socio-economic and environmental conditions of the proposed locations. Both communities are positive about the project and are making financial and labour contributions to the implementation.

The next phase is focused on the construction of the water canals, power houses and transmission and distribution system generators. In addition, a field facilitator will conduct activities related to community mobilisation, and will support the local communities in the administrative processes. A “Village Electrification Committee” will be set up in each of the two participating communities, comprising a majority share of women.

More general information is available on our SEPS project page.

Outcomes of the 2016 International Tech4Dev Conference

News from WISIONS posted on June 21st, 2016

The 4th UNESCO International Conference on Technologies for Development took place from 2nd to 4th May 2016 in Lausanne, Switzerland. It provided an opportunity for more than 400 researchers and representatives from NGOs, international organisations, and the private sector from 65 countries to discuss how to bridge the gap between technological innovation and its intended social impact.Read moreMinimize

This is an important question for sustainable energy projects, as these often fail to successfully translate into development impacts. The reasons for this rarely to do with the technology itself and can more often be attributed to socio-cultural, institutional and/or economical aspects.

The contributions and discussions at the conference allowed for a better understanding of the factors that support or hinder the ability of decentralized renewable energy initiatives to create social and economic impacts. Several presenters stressed the need to engage with the end-users more in order to best address their needs. It was pointed out that it is important to not only see end-users as passive receivers but to value their knowledge and capacities. Furthermore, it became evident that in order to measure and understand the extent and nature of social impact we need a mixed-methods approach that includes quantitative as well as qualitative evaluation. While quantitative methods are helpful to address the question of what happened as a result of the technical innovation, qualitative methods help to understand why and how social impact was or was not achieved.

For more information on the different breakout sessions and to download selected full papers please visit the Tech4DEV website.

Wind Empowerment Wind Turbine Workshop in Luxembourg

News from WISIONS posted on June 15th, 2016

Project Windmobile, a Wind Empowerment member organisation based in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, celebrated its 10th Birthday in 2016 by hosting a conference, and several network members participated in the events. One special event was a DIY wind turbine building course, held by PureSelfMade at the Lycée Technique d’Ettelbruck in Luxembourg. Read moreMinimize

During the course, participants built a 2F Piggott turbine, which is similar in design to Hugh Piggott’s Recipe Book turbine but has a diameter of 2 metres and uses Ferrite magnets in its axial flux alternator. The students in the course were between 13 and 16 years old and proved to be very ambitious, whereas the Lycée Technique d’Ettelbruck provided excellent equipment. 

Windmobile put together a diverse programme for conference guests and students of the Lycée Technique d’Ettelbruck. Network members discussed the progress in Wind Empowerment's work, small wind turbine building courses and their impacts, open source technology in the field of (power) electronics, and various other aspects.

To read the whole report of the workshop (including many photos), please visit pureselfmade.com.

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