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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Project updates on biogas commercialization in Nepalese poultry industry

News from WISIONS posted on March 8th, 2021

In Nepal, there are many successful biogas plants in the domestic sector, but only few experiences with the application of biogas technology in commercial enterprises such as animal husbandry or hotels. However, the commercial use of biogas in the poultry industry has a lot of potential as recent developments from one of our SEPS projects in Nepal show.Read moreMinimize

The project, implemented by Winrock in collaboration with the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and NMB Bank, aims to demonstrate the viability of an innovative business model using credit financing, grants and equity for promoting commercial biogas use in the poultry industry in Nepal. In January 2021, NMB Bank extended a loan to Dashrath Poultry Farm for the construction of a biogas plant. A South-South knowledge exchange was also established by bringing in a technical expert on biogas in the commercial poultry sector from Bangladesh.

In addition, project staff use modern auxiliary equipment to monitor the efficiency of the biogas plant. The installation of a "biogas smart device" from Connected Energy (https://connectedenergy.net/smart-biogas) will help the biogas project to monitor the system performance and ensure long-term deployment.


Small wind for productive use: The socio-economic advantages of wind energy for family operators in Argentina

News from WISIONS posted on March 4th, 2021

Our partner network Wind Empowerment set up three small wind turbines in different rural areas in Argentina to analyze the productive use of such systems. Close monitoring and impact evaluation revealed now insightful results of the socio-economic advantages for families and farmers that installed a Piggott wind turbine. Link to the projectRead moreMinimize

Altogether, three different regions with three different operators have been selected by the regional project partner 500rpm for this purpose. In two sites the full systems have been installed and their operation monitored for several months. The system for the third site (a camping area) is still in development. The first project analyzed the impact of wind power on an egg farm (in Corralito, Rio Negro Province) and the second on a horticultural farm in Costa del Lepá, Chubut Province. Analysis on the impacts of wind turbines revealed some interesting outcomes for the beneficiaries of the project and productive use of small wind turbines.

  • Wind power generating lighting in poultry houses increased productivity around 30% in winter and 15% in summer. 
  • The pumping system for irrigation based on wind energy actually increased the monthly income of the participating farmer family by 90$ due to the removal of diesel-powered pumping systems. 
  • Preliminary estimates for small wind power on the camping area assume that it could reduce the fossil fuel consumption about 65% and connected costs of 1400 USD per year. Also, the generated energy through wind turbines could provide sufficient sustainable energy for lighting, freezers, television, washing machine, radio and charging of cell phones or flash lights. 

The demonstration projects in operation already provide some positive impacts in the productivity of the intervened economic activities. Moreover, the potentials for more significant impacts became evident at this intermediate stage of the project. For instance, by switching from flood irrigation to drip irrigation the horticultural farm would be able to double its production. This would also reduce the water needs and allow for using part of the generated power for improving domestic services, for instance by powering wash machines and refrigerators.

Our regional partner 500rpm is working in collaboration with other locally active organization such as INTA (National Institute for Agriculture Technology) and the Agrotechnical School of Cholila in order to provide the agro-technical support needed for improving the productive integration of the wind power.


Introducing solar water pumping systems to small farmers in Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on February 4th, 2021

To irrigate their fields most small farmers in Nepal depend on rainfall, some farmers are using diesel-powered water pumps and others even carry water manually to irrigate their fields and provide water for their livestock from nearby rivers or small streams. While diesel-powered water pumps can be expensive and polluting the lack of irrigation can result in limited production and missed opportunities to sell surplus agricultural products. This SEPS-knowledge exchange project in Nepal implemented by Winrock International and its local partners (Nepal Agricultural Cooperative Central Federation Ltd.) addressed this issue by expanding the knowledge and promoting solar water pumping systems (SWPs) as clean and financially viable irrigation option to members of eight small farmer cooperatives in three districts of Nepal: Nawalpur, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu. Link to the SEPS Knowledge Exchange Read moreMinimize

The project team carried out several activities including knowledge exchange, capacity building, system demonstration, follow up and monitoring for the promotion of SWP system among smallholder farmers for irrigation. The project further facilitated network development among municipal officials, cooperatives, farmers and SWP supplier companies. 


To tackle one of the biggest obstacles for SWPs the project also aimed to increase the access to financing options for rural farmers. The project provided farmers with an orientation on the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) subsidy program and also financing options from financial institutions like SFACLs. As a result a total of 17 SWP systems have been installed in the project area. 16 SWP systems were installed under AEPC subsidy program, and 1 SWP system was installed with credit facility from JSLBSL.

The feedback from the farmers who installed a SWP was very positive. Some were able to increase their incomes. Others welcomed the replacement of the diesel engines, which caused additional costs for fuel and operation as well as maintenance. Furthermore, some farmers reported that they could even provide neighboring farmers with water from their SWP system. These results show that the transfer of knowledge about sustainable energy solutions and support by different actors to achieve those, are a major determinant on the way to achieving SDG 7 - sustainbale energy access for all.

Find here the full description of the project: Exchange: Knowledge Exchange to Make Solar Water Pumping (SWP) Systems Affordable for Small Farmers (SEPS16)

Or listen to our webinar about sustainable energy solutions for irrigation: 7. Energy for Water from "Sun&Co" - Renewable Energy Innovations for Irrigation


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