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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Wind Strawberries - News from Patagonia

News from WISIONS posted on January 5th, 2022

Many small rural farmers in the areas of Chubut and the Río Negro provinces in the argentinian steppe struggle with essential problems in their everyday life: the access to water, sufficient supply of energy and a low income – often below the poverty line. A resource that has the potential to fulfill the needs for productive use was long abandoned: wind energy. A new wind energy project that launched this summer now bears its first fruits.Read moreMinimize

In the last years, WISIONS has been increasingly involved in projects focusing on the productive use of energy and its impact on rural livelihoods. With Fundación 500RPM we have a partner with long standing expertise in implementing holistic wind energy systems for productive use in the context of horticultural production. One sub-project that Fundación 500RPM and WISIONS are collaborating on has been successfully implemented: The strawberry plantation of the Peña family is now powered with wind energy! The project was driven by a holistic approach on energy access which includes capacity building and the consideration of management aspects from the beginning, as can be seen in the following project outline:

The Peña family runs an isolated family farm in the Municipality of Gualjaina not connected to the electric grid. The main economic activity of the family is livestock farming, for the sale of wool and meat. They also produce vegetables mostly for their own self-sufficiency. The Peña family strives to improve their economic situation and in collaboration with Fundación 500RPM they developed the idea to start growing strawberries for sale, which have a high added value in that region. Concentrating on a single crop has the benefit of allowing greater harvests, promising better prices and higher margins.
To provide an adequate water supply, the Peñas, together with our local project partner, installed a wind turbine that generates the power for a water pump which sufficiently supplies the plantation. The installation was accompanied by technical training to ensure that the family is capable of running the new system independently. Once the first fruits are ripe for harvest the strawberries will be sold regionally at larger stores in the urban centers of Patagonia, which guarantees higher prices than selling the crops locally. 

The results of the labour showed in mid November, when the first ripe strawberries were harvested. To show what went into their production, the strawberries from the Peña farm were given the name “Frutillas del Viento” - Wind Strawberries.

Even after the implementing the new plantation, the Peñas will stay in touch with our project partners ensuring that the long-term impacts of the project can be evaluated. The project will serve as a precedent for productive use of wind energy in Patagonia and as a role model for new horticultural projects with small rural producers who face similar obstacles (access to water, energy and a low income).

Stay tuned for more updates on the strawberry enterprise of the Peña family and other wind energy projects in Patagonia!

New edition of The Flow

News from WISIONS posted on January 5th, 2022

In the last edition for 2021 of their Newsletter The Flow HPNET gives new insights into their work as a south-south knowledge exchange and advocacy platform, supported by WISIONS. It gives updates on network members, informs about upcoming events and shares their latest knowledge products in the context of micro hydropower in South and East Asia.Read moreMinimize

The highlights of this issue amongst others are:

  • Updates from members of the Hydro Empowerment Network about their work in Nepal, who were able to put a 200kW mini hydropower system into operation, and in Indonesia, with the founder of a manufacturing business for hydro turbines presenting his work via an article on HPNETs blog
  • An upcoming virtual training opportunity on the fundamentals of community-scale hydro-grids in January. The training is part of the SEEED initiative that aims to support community-hydro practitioners to customize sustainability mechanisms to local contexts, enabling climate resilience and socio-economic co-benefits.
  • The fourth edition of the video podcast series StreamSide Chats, which takes a deep dive into social and environmental aspects of community hydro and particularly how the Kalinga Indigenious people manage their hydro mini-grids. Join in for a virtual tour around the Balbalasang micro hydro project.
  • A new interview in the interview series Hidden No More, which features women working as small-scale hydro practitioners who have overcome gender-barriers. This edition highlights the work of former Executive Director of SIBAT Victoria Lopez and her experience on the role of women in micro hydro planning and implementation.
  • The presentation of an easy-to-follow fact sheet about electronic load controllers that provides detailed information on different kinds of flow control, their relative cost and their suitability given the context in which they are used, enabling practitioners to select the best equipment for their systems..

You can find the newsletter here or visit HPNETs blog for further information!

New edition of Revista RedBioLAC

News from WISIONS posted on December 10th, 2021

The end of the year brings new research insights in renewable energy: Our regional partner network in Latin America published their 5th annual edition of the journal RedBioLAC Revista. It aims to collect research on the manifold aspects of biogas, biodigesters and anaerobic di-gestion in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop a methodology focused on financial and technological sustainability of the technologies.Read moreMinimize

The journal contains 15 papers, including five case studies, from multiple countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Cuba, Mexico and El Salvador. The goal is to gather the experience of international and diverse experts on the development, implementation and evaluation of biodigesters in order to advance the dissemination of the technology.
Thematically the edition covers a wide range of topics with the main focus being the process of co-digestion, but it also discusses:

  • the application and management of digestate
  • biodigestion with municipal or urban organic waste
  • control, modeling and inhibition of the biodigestion process
  • community and educational experiences in the context of biodigestion
  • the implementation of small and medium scale biodigesters 
  • the use, treatment and utilization of biogas.

You are now able to find all journal editions on the newly launched website Revista RedBioLAC, where further information on the selection process for papers, the editorial structure and quality policies of the journal can be found. All editions are also still available for download free of charge on RedBioLACs homepage.

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