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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Meet the WISIONS Team at the 2016 International Tech4Dev Conference

News from WISIONS posted on April 25th, 2016

The WISIONS team will participate in this year's "UNESCO Chair Conference on Technologies for Development: From Innovation to Social Impact", which will take place from 2nd to 4th May 2016 at the EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Lausanne, Switzerland.Read moreMinimize

Technological innovation is vital for addressing global challenges such as climate change, pollution, disease, rising inequalities and chronic poverty. We need renewable energy sources, efficient transport networks, effective public health systems, well-designed infrastructure, improved agricultural systems and access to quality education for everyone.

The guiding question of this UNESCO Conference is how we bridge the gap between innovation and social impact. Rising global challenges require technological innovations, but the ultimate aim is positive impact in the real world. It is important to focus on technical excellence, but even more so to build successful business models for large-scale deployment and long-term financial sustainability. The Tech4Dev Conference provides a critical platform for knowledge exchange, enabling researchers to present their findings and for practitioners to outline their needs and insights, as well as relating their experiences from the field.

The WISIONS team will participate in the session Paths Towards Impact: How to Evaluate Technology for Development Interventions on Monday, 2nd of May, presenting a study entitled "What Impacts Do Small-Scale Energy Projects in Developing Countries Really Have? Findings from a Repeated Post-Evaluation".

Furthermore, the coordinator of the Wind Empowerment network will present a study entitled "A Review of the Behavioural Change Challenges Facing a Proposed Solar and Battery Electric Cooking Concept" as part of the session From Developing to Scaling Up Innovative Social Businesses at the Base of the Pyramid on Wednesday, 4th of May.

Further general information is available at the Tech4Dev homepage and the detailed conference programme is available here (pdf).

Biogas and Solar Drying Technologies for Cocoa Production in Ecuador

News from WISIONS posted on April 11th, 2016

Our Ecuadorian SEPS project entitled CRECER (Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy) has successfully finalised its third and final project phase. It was led by the implementing organisations CorpoEsmeraldas, Green Empowerment, and FEDETA. The last project phase was dedicated to the monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination of project results.Read moreMinimize

The overall aim was to improve the livelihoods of rural families in Rioverde, Esmeraldas, Ecuador through the implementation of renewable energy (RE) technologies and sustainable agricultural practices. Although Rioverde is one of Ecuador’s poorest and most under-served regions, a growing market for sustainably produced cocoa beans, the region’s traditional cash crop, offers rural smallholders new opportunities.

The project’s objective was to improve cocoa production and processing in three communities, Felfa, Las Amazonas, and Estero Hondo, through the implementation of biogas digesters, passive solar dryers, and socio/technical training. The aims were to help restore the region’s fragile natural environment, reduce fossil fuel consumption and improve lives and livelihoods.

Responding to a variety of social situations in the three participating communities, management models for CRECER’s implemented technologies included elements of individual ownership, locally-elected committee administration and mixed communal/entrepreneurial approaches. As a result of the broad focus of CRECER’s training programmes (RE technician, cocoa cultivation, gender equity/local organisation improvement and environmental programmes), participation was open to many individuals in each community. Overall, more than 100 people attended courses covering areas including cocoa cultivation, social issues and environmental conservation themes. 

To create local options for the replication of the technologies installed, the promoter/trainer course was largely hands-on and interest generated by the initial biogas digester construction is expected to create several additional sales in the Rioverde region in the next year, providing supplementary income, if not significant employment opportunities, to enterprising promoters.

The participation in CRECER's project appears to have been a catalyst for local community action in Felfa, as community members have come together to form a legally-registered grassroots organisation to formalise local leadership for future efforts and to channel requests for further training support.

Photos of the project are available on our Facebook page. A summary of the project results will soon be published on our project site: Growing Esmeraldas with renewable energy.

Meet the WISIONS Team at the ARE-RECP Off-Grid Investment Forum 2016

News from WISIONS posted on April 5th, 2016

The WISIONS team will participate in the ARE-RECP Off-Grid Investment Forum, which will take place from 12th to 13th April 2016 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It is part of a series of events which the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) are co-hosting free-of-costs to promote decentralised renewable energy technologies and cooperation.Read moreMinimize

ARE is hosting a one-day Energy Access Investment Summit at ING headquarters to bring together key decision makers as well as institutional and business representatives to develop business strategies.

This event aims to discuss market conditions and key policy and financial initiatives on existing and upcoming rural electrification business opportunities in developing and emerging markets. It offers a chance for interested participants to understand where the opportunities lie and how you can take advantage of them, while also creating the appropriate networks to get engaged.

The summit is open to the private sector, financiers, the (inter)national and European public sector representatives, business networks and CSO that would like

  • to meet ARE members and partners; and 
  • to venture or to expand investment and operations in rural electrification and renewable energy markets.
More information on the event, including a detailed list of speakers is available at ARE's website here.

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