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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WISIONS Webinar on development of biodigester technology in Latin America and the Caribbean

News from WISIONS posted on December 5th, 2019

The last edition of the WISIONS Webinar series 2019 will take place on 16 December at 14:00 CET. In this webinar we will discuss the following topic "Development and application of biodigester technology - advances from Latin America and the Caribbean". Register here now!Read moreMinimize
Over the last decade, diverse innovation dynamics in the field of biodigestion technology have been evident in Latin America and the Caribbean. One particularly strong line of innovation is characterised by the aim of developing biodigester designs and implementation concepts that better respond to the actual needs and conditions of the wide diversity of ‘agri-cultures’ in the region. The recognition of this common aim was one of the main triggers for the creation of the “Network of Biodigesters for Latin America and the Caribbean”(RedBioLAC).

In this webinar we will talk with members of RedBioLAC to gain an overview of the significant contributions made in the region over the last decade in the development and application of the technology. We will consider questions such as:

  • What technological developments have been particularly important for adapting to the diverse conditions faced by farmers and other potential users of the technology in the region?
  • How has the dissemination of the technology been promoted in the region? 
  • What role is the technology currently playing and what role could it play in the future in moving toward sustainable societies in LAC?
  • What lessons from LAC are valuable for the development and application of the technology in other regions?
We will explore these and other crucial aspects of the development of biodigestion technology in LAC with our speakers.

• Mariala Pino, General Coordinator of RedBioLAC
• Sam Schlesinger, Program Manager Ecuador, Green Empowerment
• Jaime Martí-Herrero, Research Associate, CIMNE and Ikiam University
• Willington Ortiz, Regional Coordinator LAC, WISIONS Initiative, Wuppertal Institute
• Carmen Dienst, Head of Research Unit "International Energy Transition", Wuppertal Institute

Specific Objectives:
To showcase the main contributions made by LAC (and in particular by RedBioLAC) in the development of biodigestion technology and its application.

4th Edition of HPNETS Mini-Grids Webinar Series 2019

News from WISIONS posted on December 5th, 2019

Central electric grids are mostly preferred in development agendas and mini-grid solutions receive too little attention? This upcoming webinar by HPNET will address this issue by showcasing mini-grids as a reliable and supplemental solution for electrification agendas!Register here now!Read moreMinimize

Although mini-grids are often boxed as a “pre-electrification” intervention, there is increasing evidence showing that mini-grids can achieve grid parity. Further, in countries that allow mini-grids to feed in electricity to the central grid, mini-grids have actually made the central grid more reliable!
Hydro mini-grids especially meet these scenarios, providing 24-hour reliable electricity, typically at lower LCOE and costs per kW than most other types of mini-grids, and leading to lower tariffs for rural consumers. Thereof, hydro mini-grids are generally financially viable for motorized loads (e.g. agri processing productive end use) and for feeding into the central grid.
Despite their obvious advantages, in most developing contexts decentralized renewable energy mini-grids continue to be framed as “pre-electrification” solutions at par with solar home lighting, or “not as important as the central grid.” Often mini-grid development is housed in a separate and less influential ministry, while the central grid authorities have ultimate power and financial resources. Such a fragmented approach leads to:

  • Redundant electrification interventions, and therefore wasteful use of funding resources;
  • Confusion on timing of arrival of the central grid, which severely hampers the scale-up of mini-grids;
  • Abandoned mini-grids and loss of investment upon the arrival of a reliable central grid;
  • Business-as-usual of an intermittently reliable central grid, typically powered by fossil fuels or large hydro, in today’s age of climate crisis.

Dr. Catherine Cader: Research Unit Off-Grid Systems; Rainer Lemoine Institute Germany

Christopher Wesley Ajan: Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES); Sarawak Energy, Malaysia

Dr. Victor Osu: Rural Electrification Fund; Rural Electrification Agency, Nigeria

Aashish Pradhan: DFID Nepal Renewable Energy Program (NREP)

Second COP25 side event with WISIONS

News from WISIONS posted on December 5th, 2019

The second side event at COP25 where the WISIONS team will be present, is organised by the GEF Small Grant Program (SGP) implemented by UNDP. The event will be an interactive panel discussing the opportunities of small-scale energy access investments to achieve Agenda 2030 goals. SGP COP25 ProgrammeRead moreMinimize
Side Event 2
SDG Pavillon
December 6th, 13:30-14:45

"Transformative potential of small-scale energy access investments: linking community action to SDGs and NDC implementation"

With the current state of affairs, it is unlikely that SDG 7 as a policy objective will be achievable until at least 2030. However, the coming 3 years will be crucial for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Off-grid solutions have the potential to create the necessary impact for achieving the goals but, at present, only 30 countries are actively considering these options (RLI 2019).

In this context, this COP25 side event aims to highlight local community action and small-scale energy solutions, which often remain unnoticed or not considered in the national ambitions. Appropriate and proven local solutions are laying the groundwork of new infrastructure at the community level, addressing energy service needs of rural, urban and remote communities and entrepreneurs, who cannot be served by the central grid in case of electricity or centralized distribution systems in case of cooking and heating fuels. There is a wealth of good practices and experience among local energy practitioners that might make a greater contribution to improving access to energy and enriching the NDCs.

The event will feature experts and energy practitioners exploring practical ways of anchoring national and global policies and commitments in the local context as well as opportunities to amplify local knowledge and innovation through larger policy frameworks. The event will be organized in the form of interactive panel with panel member:

  • Carmen Dienst, Head of Research Unit “International Energy Transitions”, Wuppertal Institute, Germany
  • Willington Ortiz, WISIONS Regional Coordinator, RedBioLAC (Latin America)
  • John Kioli, Kenya Climate Change Working Group & ACCESS Coalition (Kenya) 
  • Mara Gomez, Co-benefits expert, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany 
  • Bahareh Seyedi, Global Energy and Climate Policy Adviser, UNDP

Moderator: Angelica Shamerina, Climate Change Program Adviser, SGP

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