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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Thinking outside the box for SDG 7

News from WISIONS posted on December 11th, 2020

What is important about innovation in terms of reaching SDG 7 until 2030? The year 2020 is passing over to 2021 and we gave the topic some thoughts about the relevance of innovation for energy access for our work at WISIONS and our partnership networks in the Global South and put them together in this short blog entry. Read moreMinimize

The latest data on progress towards SDG7, which was published before the onset of the pandemic, revealed that the number of people across the world who lack access to electricity fell to 789 million in 2018. However, the global population without access to clean cooking solutions remained unchanged at 2.8 billion. The increase in the share of renewables in the global energy mix showed signs of slowing down and energy efficiency gains still failed to reach their potential. We have also recently learnt that finance for energy access remains far below the investment needed to achieve SDG7 by 2030 and that this gap is likely to widen as a result of the pandemic.

With less than a decade left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, thinking “outside the box” with regards to sustainable energy in the Global South is crucial. It is widely accepted that innovation can help to overcome technological and financial barriers. Specifically, adapting to local needs is at the core of innovation efforts in energy access.

But what does this look like in practice? Many of our partners have developed tools to facilitate innovation in the context of WISIONS-supported initiatives. For instance, the MHP (Micro Hydropower) Toolkit by the Hydro Empowerment Network facilitates access to technical blueprints, Do-It-Yourself instructions, simulation tools, databases and much more. This provides local MHP practitioners with the opportunity and know-how to become innovators for off-grid energy solutions.

RedBioLAC also pursues bottom-up approaches to innovation. Central to this network’s vision is the use of innovation to develop biodigester designs and implementation concepts that better respond to local needs across Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, a biodigester blueprint from Costa Rica might not fit the specific environmental conditions in Colombia. A WISIONS-supported webinar gave insights into technological advances that were particularly important over the last decade (such as the design of low-cost tubular digesters and the adaptation of designs to suit cold climates). RedBioLAC has also produced a biogas wiki library to support innovation in biodigester technology.

Lastly, financial innovations also bring us closer to achieving SDG7. The Finance Solutions Map by Nexus for Development has created a rich and publicly available database on a range of innovative finance instruments and case-studies geared towards local energy access practitioners in South and Southeast Asia.

To sum up, innovation in energy access does not only mean more sophisticated technology. It is also about tailoring solutions to meet diverse needs and adapting them to local conditions. Sharing knowledge and experiences also lies at the heart of innovative thinking and contributes to the empowerment of local energy practitioners across the Global South.

WEOnline 2020 of Wind Empowerment is now online!

News from WISIONS posted on December 1st, 2020

On two separate Weekends our partnership network Wind Empowerment also hold their annual conference virtually. Although the virtual format for conferences seemed to have settled in, their format deviated in some way by using a more participative approach of Hackathons and virtual coffee meetings. The recordings of the sessions and other results of the conference are now online. Link to WEOnline 2020Read moreMinimize

The organizers of the online conference intended to make the one thing possible that all conferences have in common and what participants like the most about it: getting together. In times of COVID-19 this naturally not quite possible at the moment, but the Wind Empowerment however gave it a try. Mainly the purpose of the event was to bring the Wind Empowerment Community together by exchanging experiences about small wind energy in the last year and delivering a convivial conference instead of a formal scientific conference. 

The program was filled with a series of webinar sessions and division of the participants in two separate groups: Education, Technology, Market Assessment, Delivery Models and Measurement. On top, a "hackathon" was been introduced and the results of it have been presented on the second weekend of the conference. 

All recordings of the sessions including webinars and presentations can be accessed here! 

WEOnline2020 Conference of the Global Small Wind Network

News from WISIONS posted on October 20th, 2020

The next conference of our partnership network is finally coming soon. The WEOnline2020 Conference will take place now on two weekends in November 2020 (21-22 and 28-29). Despite of the current circumstances the network enables therefore the opportunity for the small wind community to connect and create a space for knowledge exchanges. However, the conference will rather deviate from conventional scientific approaches to a new format. More information on the Winde Empowerment WebsiteRead moreMinimize

This will take the form of a series of webinar sessions grouped by working groups themes: Education, Technology, Market assessment, Delivery Models and Measurement. Moreover, time will be dedicated to association focused discussions to talk about who we are and reinforce the link between members. One or several “hackathons” could be launched on the first weekend and would run during the in-between week. The results could be presented during the second conference weekend by the different teams. We are looking for hackathons challenges: if you want to propose a challenge, you can do it until November the 8th.

Their discord platform  will be the gathering place to chat and take “virtual coffees”, work for hackathons, talk between the sessions, etc.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to the we2020 mailing list, visit their website regularly and subscribe to the website news !

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