The main objective of WISIONS is to make clean energy a default solution for basic energy needs in developing regions, by helping local partners to identify successes and bring them to scale through regional networks, marketing and demonstration.
Three WISIONS activities support this goal:

  • Sustainable Energy Project Support – practical demonstration & testing of technologies and models with potential for scale.
  • Regional Partnerships & Networks – bringing technologies to scale.
  • Technology Radar & Research – identification of promising technologies & models to be scaled.

The WISIONS initiative has been actively promoting the introduction of sustainable energy solutions and resource efficiency since it was launched in 2004. During these years, WISIONS has not only become well established, it has also learned a lot about the barriers that still hinder the widespread dissemination of sustainable energy solutions and successful implementation models, especially in developing countries and emerging economies. 

"WISIONS of sustainability" is an initiative by the Wuppertal Institute supported by the Swiss-based foundation ProEvolution.

Background to WISIONS

At the beginning of this millennium we face several challenges, the most pressing of which are climate change and global poverty. Both of these challenges are interrelated and linked to energy, the "forgotten“ Millennium Development Goal.
The urgency of the situation can be seen in the figures: 2.5 billion people rely on traditional biomass as their main source of energy while 1.5 billion people have no access to electricity. These figures are even projected to increase over the coming decades if no changes are made in energy policy.
In addition, it is the poorest countries, the ones that make the lowest contribution to global emissions, that are most vulnerable to climate change, and they are already experiencing the consequences of it in water scarcity, storms and the failure of crops.
We therefore have to develop a future energy system that meets several requirements if we are to ensure truly sustainable global development:

  • It must be based on climate friendly technologies with only low greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the ambitious mitigation targets and slow down climate change

  • It should boost development in poor regions with insufficient access to energy by improving livelihoods, health and economic prospects and thereby help to alleviate poverty

  • And it should use the world's resources more efficiently and in an ecologically sound and socially balanced way.

However, the transition to sustainable energy provision requires significant efforts to find and apply effective implementation strategies for these new technologies. It is not only technological issues that pose the greatest challenge; social and economical barriers are often even more difficult to overcome. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the successful implementation of climate friendly technologies, but each initiative, project or programme aimed at introducing sustainable energy technologies gives rise to new experiences and know-how that can help accelerate the transition process.