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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Macro Lessons For Micro Hydro In Nepal

News from WISIONS posted on July 19th, 2018

Winrock International has a long history in Nepal’s micro-hydro industry, a legacy which was much in evidence in a series of learning and sharing workshops organised by "Sharing Learning Across Projects: Operating Micro-Hydro (MHPs) as Commercially Viable Enterprises", a clean energy project in Nepal.Read moreMinimize

This SEPS exchange activity is financially supported by WISIONS and jointly implemented with Nepal’s Alternative Energy Promotion Centre’s Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood Programme (AEPC/RERL).

The objective of the training workshops was to build the capacity of micro-hydro plants to operate as commercially viable enterprises. This objective was achieved by focusing on knowledge exchange, managerial and business model training, business plan development and computer-based account management systems.

The workshops provided everything from instruction on accounting practices (single- vs. double-entry) to maintenance checklists (bolt turbine connections once a year) to meter-reading basics (set aside days each month and inform customers in advance).

Participants at a recent workshop began by sharing what they had learned and implemented from earlier training sessions. Amongst other things, managers reported the following changes: extended service hours, increased salaries to motivate employees and the introduction of late fees or a policy of disconnecting customers who had not paid their bills.

To read more about Winrock's activities, please visit their project website.

RedBioEc, The Ecuadorian Biodigester Network

News from WISIONS posted on July 17th, 2018

Building on the WISIONS-supported formation of the Ecuadorian Biodigester Network in 2016, one of our SEPS exchange activities seeks to further develop a strong base of biodigester practitioners within Ecuador and form linkages between actors with interest in the technology at local and national levels.Read moreMinimize

Following preparations for the three initial three-day capacity-building workshops, the first was held in northern Ecuador’s Intag region during the project’s first phase. Following the success of this initial event, the other two workshops were held in El Empalme and Ayancay.

All participants reported that the hands-on aspects of the course effectively facilitated knowledge transfer, both in the installation of tubular polyethylene biodigesters on a smallholder property (Guayas) and at a small/medium husbandry operation (Cañar). This field component also provided participants with the opportunity to gain experience in answering questions posed by beneficiary families regarding digester operation, management, and benefits.

Requests for further support highlighted by many participants included written training materials, additional training, particularly on digester sizing and technical details; and overwhelmingly, financing to put the learning into action. A majority of participants reported that they did not feel they had the capacity to replicate the technology with their own resources (financial, technical, and/or agricultural), and planned to apply the learning by sharing the experience with other community members or academic colleagues, who may face the same limitations.

Following analysis of these results from the initial workshops and additional logistics planning with local organizing partners in each of the three locations, follow-up workshops and “field day” promotional events were planned in each location, with local partners largely charged with promoting the event to nearby smallholder, government, and NGO stakeholders. To address some of the issues identified in the post-course surveys, content modifications for the follow-up courses and field days were centered on responding to participants’ technical concerns and identified weak points in the programme (lack of sufficient focus on effluent fertilizer usage, need for additional visits to functional biodigesters, etc.). By moving up these workshops, the organisers aimed to increase the likelihood of successful initial efforts by more confident new practitioners, determine whether additional field activities prior to the national-level event will be beneficial (and financially viable), and promote replication and local capacity to support it to government actors prior to Ecuador’s political campaign season.

More general information on this project is available here: Capacity-Building, Democratisation of Technology and Local Advocacy through the Ecuadorian Biodigester Network (RedBioEc)

A Biogas E-Learning Platform For Latin America And The Caribbean

News from WISIONS posted on June 27th, 2018

One of our most recent SEPS exchange activities aims to expand "Biogas for Energy" – an already available e-learning platform – in order to reach a broader audience of students, technicians, officials and other practitioners from Latin America and the Caribbean.Read moreMinimize

Activities build upon the existing training materials offered by WISIONS' project partner CIBiogás, as well as including wider knowledge and experiences from RedBioLAC. The courses will be offered in a dynamic and interactive web learning environment by means of a Portuguese and Spanish language internet website offering a bilingual tutor and formal evaluation procedures to ensure knowledge transmission and teaching quality and to prevent students withdrawing from the courses. Courses have the purpose of introducing the issue of biogas in the Latin American and Caribbean context,
with a special focus on small scale biodigesters.

Recently, CIBiogás successfully concluded the following activities:

  • Definition of course topics and detailed contents to be offered under the framework of this SEPS project
  • Creation of educational documents for each course (the "Small Scale Biodigester" course is already being elaborated by one of the consultants
  • Selection of consultants who will produce the course contents

The next steps include the digitalisation of course contents, the technical validation as well as the translation from Portuguese to Spanish language.

More general information on this SEPS exchange activity is available on our SEPS project page: "Biogas for Energy" – E-Learning Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean

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