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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RedBioEc, The Ecuadorian Biodigester Network

News from WISIONS posted on July 17th, 2018

Building on the WISIONS-supported formation of the Ecuadorian Biodigester Network in 2016, one of our SEPS exchange activities seeks to further develop a strong base of biodigester practitioners within Ecuador and form linkages between actors with interest in the technology at local and national levels.Read moreMinimize

Following preparations for the three initial three-day capacity-building workshops, the first was held in northern Ecuador’s Intag region during the project’s first phase. Following the success of this initial event, the other two workshops were held in El Empalme and Ayancay.

All participants reported that the hands-on aspects of the course effectively facilitated knowledge transfer, both in the installation of tubular polyethylene biodigesters on a smallholder property (Guayas) and at a small/medium husbandry operation (Cañar). This field component also provided participants with the opportunity to gain experience in answering questions posed by beneficiary families regarding digester operation, management, and benefits.

Requests for further support highlighted by many participants included written training materials, additional training, particularly on digester sizing and technical details; and overwhelmingly, financing to put the learning into action. A majority of participants reported that they did not feel they had the capacity to replicate the technology with their own resources (financial, technical, and/or agricultural), and planned to apply the learning by sharing the experience with other community members or academic colleagues, who may face the same limitations.

Following analysis of these results from the initial workshops and additional logistics planning with local organizing partners in each of the three locations, follow-up workshops and “field day” promotional events were planned in each location, with local partners largely charged with promoting the event to nearby smallholder, government, and NGO stakeholders. To address some of the issues identified in the post-course surveys, content modifications for the follow-up courses and field days were centered on responding to participants’ technical concerns and identified weak points in the programme (lack of sufficient focus on effluent fertilizer usage, need for additional visits to functional biodigesters, etc.). By moving up these workshops, the organisers aimed to increase the likelihood of successful initial efforts by more confident new practitioners, determine whether additional field activities prior to the national-level event will be beneficial (and financially viable), and promote replication and local capacity to support it to government actors prior to Ecuador’s political campaign season.

More general information on this project is available here: Capacity-Building, Democratisation of Technology and Local Advocacy through the Ecuadorian Biodigester Network (RedBioEc)

Practitioner Network Webinar: Grid Interconnection Of Mini-Grids

News from WISIONS posted on July 12th, 2018

The Energy Access Practitioner Network, in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, is hosting a webinar on mini-grids and interconnection that will highlight the challenges and possible options for mini-grids after the main grid arrives. Join the webinar at 4 PM CEST on 18 July 2018.Read moreMinimize

Join this webinar to learn about various country-specific case studies from Asia and Africa, and to discuss the potential requirements – policy, technical, and commercial – needed to achieve a relatively seamless interconnection of mini-grids with the main grid.

The presentations will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience.

Chris Greacen, Palang Thai
Dipti Vaghela, Hydro Empowerment Network
Sam Slaughter, PowerGen Renewable Energy

Ruchi Soni, United Nations Foundation

Register here: Grid Interconnection Of Mini-Grids

Recording Of Our Webinar: “Great Expectations – Productive Uses Of Energy Off The Grid”

News from WISIONS posted on July 9th, 2018

The recording and all presentations of our fourth webinar “Great Expectations: Productive Uses Of Energy Off The Grid” are now available to watch online.Read moreMinimize

Great expectations abound for the so-called “productive uses of energy”. These uses of energy go well beyond solar lamps and cell phone charging. They aim to fundamentally improve livelihoods for people living beyond the grid by powering computers, agricultural machinery, and more.

Funders increasingly support energy projects and programmes that use energy productively. The assumption is that using energy for productive uses will enhance social and economic development and help reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The productive uses of energy could certainly help to reach these goals, as many examples attest. However, systematic evidence of these outcomes and impacts is still limited and questions remain:

Which complementary services are necessary to establish productive uses? Do productive uses of energy contribute to social and economic development? Why do many energy projects fall short to establish productive activities? Is there a tipping point for the amount of energy that will have the greatest impact? Which “productive” activities should be supported, and who will benefit?

We have given an overview of the current state of evidence on productive uses of energy and learned about pitfalls and successes along the way to improving livelihoods across the Global South.

Watch the recording here.

Download the presentations here: WISIONS Webinar Great Expectations All Slides

Watch all previous webinars here: WISIONS Webinar Series

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