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.

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New Project: Biogas Solutions For Livestock Farmers in Costa Rica

News from WISIONS posted on January 9th, 2019

Could biogas solutions be an alternative to conventional methods for livestock farming in Costa Rica? One of our most recent exchange activities aims to implement a collaborative process seeking to consolidate the use of biodigester technology and accelerate its adoption among small and medium-scale livestock farmers in the country.Read moreMinimize

The Costa Rican Biogas Association (Asobiogás) and WISIONS will jointly coordinate this process, which integrates two work streams: the configuration and implementation of a SEPS knowledge exchange and the conceptualisation and realisation of a transdisciplinary transformative research approach. The collaborative process consists of six phases and continuously interweaves tasks and outputs of both the knowledge exchange and the research approach.

The process includes the following objectives:

  • To identify variables that influence the implementation and adoption of small and medium-scale biogas technology in Costa Rica
  • To ensure that substantial technical knowledge of biodigester technology is available to traditional providers of agricultural products and services in order that that they can offer biogas solutions as an alternative to other technologies and services
  • To build awareness, interest and trust among small and medium-scale farmers in the benefits of biodigester technology
  • To provide continuous support to all the parties involved in order to ensure robust consolidation of the sector



Empowering Micro Hydro Plants In Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on January 2nd, 2019

Large numbers of micro-hydro plants installed in Nepal have fallen short of their potential to achieve a lasting impact on rural people's livelihoods. This is because most of them are unable to generate sufficient revenue to cover even minor operation and maintenance costs and, as a result, they have to close down for indefinite periods when repairs are required.Read moreMinimize

In this context, Winrock International implemented the SEPS exchange activity Sharing Learning Across Projects: Operating Micro Hydro Plants (MHP) as Commercially Viable Enterprises. They organised for successful plants to share best management practice with five financially and managerially weak micro-hydro plants in the Baglung and Gulmi districts.

The series of knowledge exchange workshops empowered management committees and local representatives to improve their managerial and financial systems and to develop their business plans, business models and computer-based accounting systems. The activities resulted in significant managerial improvement of the selected micro-hydro plants. These plants were able to provide a reliable power supply with a marked increase in revenue generation and to establish themselves as profitable enterprises.

After the interventions, electricity sales increased by up to 40%, additional households and enterprises became connected and productive end uses increased. The micro-hydro plants adopted transparent accounting systems and improved their tariff collection, resulting in greater satisfaction among beneficiaries and better ownership by stakeholders.

The project shows the huge potential for the government and other development partners to focus on improving the management of micro-hydro plants and increasing the reliability of electricity connections through similar knowledge exchange programmes for the remaining 2,000 micro-hydro plants across the country.

Read the Nishi II micro hydro plant and Chachalghat micro hydro plant success stories (pdf).

Watch a video of the activities:


Energy Switch In The Cambodian Garment Industry

News from WISIONS posted on December 12th, 2018

Our recent cooperation with GERES aims to demonstrate the potential for using rice husks as an alternative energy source for the garment industry in Cambodia. Find out about the progress they have made here.Read moreMinimize

The Cambodian garment sector’s total consumption of firewood is estimated to be about 302,000 tonnes per year. Currently, most of the wood comes from Economic Land Concessions clearing, which has rendered the price of wood artificially low.

One promising alternative could be the use of rice husk briquettes, as Cambodia produces around 1.5 million tonnes of rice husk each year. In Vietnam, for instance, rice husk is already widely used as an alternative fuel source.

In order to select participants for the exchange activities who would most benefit from a study tour to Vietnam, GERES identified and mapped 33 of H&M’s suppliers in Cambodia. Following the mapping, GERES contacted large rice mills established near to the selected garment factories. Eventually, more than 20 rice millers, with an average annual rice husk production ranging from 3,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes, were identified. After an introduction to the project, they were interviewed about their activity, their use of rice husk and their potential interest in rice husk briquetting.

This mapping led to the development of a database listing H&M garment suppliers by average firewood consumption (based on data collected by H&M in 2017) and rice millers by average production capacity. Of the 20 rice millers identified, GERES selected 10 to participate in a study tour to Vietnam to visit rice husk briquetting machine suppliers and rice husk briquette producers.

The study tour took place in September 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta Area. As well as getting to know different suppliers, the activities enabled the Cambodian rice millers to learn more about rice husk briquette production, its potential benefits and the necessary steps to take to implement the technology back home.

Next steps include a video of the study tour and other communication materials, as well as a study tour for representatives from the garment factories.


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