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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Our last Newsletter for 2020 and end of year reflection

News from WISIONS posted on December 21st, 2020

The latest WISIONS Newsletter is out! In it, we look back at key recent activities and reflect on what innovation can mean in the context of energy access. We hope you enjoy the holiday season and wish you all a great start to 2021. Please stay safe!Find our newsletter here!

Solar power for a ‘community fridge’ in Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on December 16th, 2020

With support from WISIONS, the People, Energy and Environment Development Association (PEEDA) built a solar-powered mobile cold storage unit for smallholders in the Dolakha region of Nepal. The project, which is the first of its kind in the country, has had a substantial impact on the community and its economy. See also hereRead moreMinimize

The concept of the “community fridge” follows a simple but effective approach. The small-scale farmers amass the vegetables produced on their farms in the highlands of Nepal in the cold storage facility. After putting aside sufficient vegetables for their own consumption, the remaining vegetables can be stored and processed for commercial sale at the next local market. Before the installation of the “community fridge”, the farmers were forced to sell their produce immediately after harvest as they did not have the means to keep it fresh, which resulted in oversupply and low revenue. Preliminary numbers already indicate that the community has reduced the amount of food waste by 50% and that the increase in vegetable sales has created additional income for the families.

The involvement of the community was key to the success of the project and now the community owns and manages the system via a committee of local farmers who operate it. The holistic approach included the design of an innovative and sustainable energy solution, capacity-building for beneficiaries, value chain management and the raising of public awareness within the community about the project. We look forward to sharing future updates about this project! 

Gender equality, sustainable development and energy access

News from WISIONS posted on December 14th, 2020

Female entrepreneurs and practitioners have long been under-represented in the sustainable energy sector. Empowering more women to actively participate in the sector unleashes talent, helps to build resilient, sustainable and inclusive societies, and promotes gender equality. In light of this, the Alliance for Rural Electrification has recently launched a rich knowledge resource on best practices and stories of female empowerment in the sustainable energy sector. A case study from our partner network, HPNET, is featured among the examples of best practice in the field.Link to the report Read moreMinimize

The case study reviews the experiences of the micro-hydro (MHP) system built in the Pinthali village in Nepal over 20 years ago. The project took gender mainstreaming activities into account from the planning stage and these proved essential for including local women in the decision-making processes. The project also monitored the effects of the MHP on women in the village, including changes in daily activities, health impacts and increased household incomes.

Based on this and other experiences, ARE has produced recommendations for action at three levels (organisational, community and investor), which include:
• Community level: to inform every stage of energy access project design with data on local gender dynamics.
• Organisational level: to integrate gender mainstreaming into company business models and organisations’ programmes, and to develop a Gender Action Plan with clear objectives to guide the process.
• Investor level: to make a stronger case for gender-lens investment, and to provide financial incentives to investees with good gender practices and female empowerment programmes.

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