Criteria for obtaining SEPS support

In order to be able to assess the project proposals submitted and compare them in a structured way, WISIONS has drawn up a set of criteria to ensure the sustainable character of the projects and the relevant forms of support.

  • Technical viability
  • Management model and economic feasibility
  • Local and global environmental benefits
  • Social context and impact
  • Innovative aspects
  • Replicability and dissemination concept
  • Sound implementation strategy

SEPS defines the term "project" in a broad sense. It does not focus solely on technical solutions, but also addresses a broad spectrum of ideas that may help to foster renewable energy or the efficient use of energy and, therefore, contribute to sustainable development.

Description of criteria

Technical viability

The project must be technically feasible to implement. Technological know-how within the project team (or from experts involved as project partners) is essential, as well as proven availability of resources (e.g. adequate water flows, seasonality, etc.). Appropriate local expertise to maintain the appliances and provide sound operational management is crucial and may need to be developed to ensure that the appliances installed can be operated independently in the long-term.

Management model and economic feasibility

The establishment of a sound management model that is appropriate for the cultural and economic context of the target region is recommended. This should comprise clear responsibilities and mechanisms for regulation (e.g. supply of inputs, ownership, O&M duties, payments etc.).

SEPS can help to fund the up-front cost of renewable energy projects, but is unable to offer long-term support. Therefore the proposal should include a convincing strategy for securing long-term economic feasibility. To develop economically feasible concepts it is recommended that the current local economic situation, as well as the willingness of the local population to pay for energy services, is assessed.

Local and global environmental benefits

SEPS supports renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Consequently, global aspects to be considered are the avoidance of fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. Please apply the Environmental Performance Calculation Procedure to work out these figures. We consider that the CO2 reduction potential is low in regions with no or low use of fossil fuels. In these cases, we will consider the comparison with the introduction of fossil fuel appliances rather than the technology to be implemented. 

Local environmental conditions are of particular importance for the welfare of the population in the project area. Therefore, we take local and environmental benefits into account, together with any negative environmental side effects caused by the project. Please describe the local and global impacts of the project.

Social context and impact

The implementation of an energy project can be a significant intervention in the social context. The social setting influences the adequate functioning of the technology and its management and both have an impact on social relations and vice versa. Because of these interdependent relations the complexity of the technology and the applied management model must be appropriate for the local context.

Relevant aspects of the social context include, for example, the involvement of the local population, existing local organizational structures, cultural habits, the role of the local authorities, as well as impacts of the project on poverty, employment or gender issues.

Innovative aspects of the project

WISIONS aim is to support the implementation and testing of innovative ideas that address energy needs in sustainable ways. Having said that, WISIONS interprets innovation in a broad sense. Consequently, as well as (or instead of) demonstrating technological innovation, projects may comprise other innovative aspects, for example related to organization, finance, management or political aspects. Please note: SEPS does not support the straightforward replication of projects that are already in mainstream use.

Replicability and dissemination concept

The project should be replicable or have clear potential benefits for projects in other areas. Existing production or supply structures, a high level of interest among the local population and the general public, and well-established links to potential users of the technology and to local and national politicians are advantageous.

It is crucial to inform and include the local population and politicians about the project if new energy services are to be accepted and supported locally. Thorough dissemination of information is necessary in order to convince local stakeholders, such as authorities, funding institutions or project developers. This can help to increase not only the acceptance but also the replication of the project.

Implementation strategy

The project must have a sound and comprehensive concept, be in an advanced phase of development and be ready for implementation. Of crucial importance for projects in the pre-implementation phase is the quality and detail of the implementation strategy. What steps have you planned? What kind of support do you still need? What are the costs or additional costs? Who are the partners involved? The more advanced and detailed your strategy is, the better we can assess your needs for project support.

Application procedure

Between 3 and 6 technical projects will be selected for support in a three-stage validation procedure based on the above listed criteria. Partial funding of projects is possible.

The projects must be innovative and demonstrate an integrated and sound approach in their implementation. Only projects that are ready to be implemented are eligible for SEPS support. Applicants are therefore required to submit the following:

  • a completed SEPS Project Proposal or Exchange Application Form
  • a project budget in Euros (EUR/€)
  • a preliminary time schedule
  • a calculation demonstrating the potential avoidance of fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions  

Applicants may submit additional detailed documentation including a comprehensive description of the key aspects and arguments in favour of the project. The number of extra pages (including budget plan, time schedule and the calculations of the reduction in fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions) must not exceed 10 pages

Please note that SEPS financial support cannot be used for:

  • product development 
  • product launches and product marketing
  • research studies
  • big dams
You can find details on the SEPS Exchange Program here: SEPS Energy Projects.