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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Recording of HPNET Webinar is now online!

News from WISIONS posted on December 12th, 2019

What are the effective benefits of integrating mini-grids into rural electrification development plans? This webinar by HPNET addressed this issue by showcasing mini-grids as a reliable and actually reliable solution for electrification agendas! The recording is now available to watch here!Link to YoutubeRead moreMinimize
This webinar was part of the Mini-Grid Webinar Series 2019 by the Hydro Empowerment Network.  All presentations by the panelists can be found at Energypedia!

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)

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