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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Virtual training opportunity for hydro mini-grids

News from WISIONS posted on January 13th, 2022

Have you wondered what hydro mini-grids are? Are you a hydro practitioner trying to implement them in your community? If so, you should not miss out the upcoming virtual training of our partner HPNET! The admission free training is a great opportunity to gain first insights, or deepen your knowledge on the fundamentals of community-scale hydro mini-grids.Read moreMinimize

The 6 week program is part of Hydro Empowerment Networks initiative Social Enterprise for Energy, Ecological and Economic Development (SEEED), supported by WISIONS, that aims to support practitioners and communities to customize proven sustainability mechanisms to local contexts, enabling climate resilience and socio-economic co-benefits through community-scale hydro.

The virtual training takes place from February 7th to March 18th, 2022, and will provide participants with an extensive introduction on the fundamental elements of sustainable community-scale hydropower implementation. While focussing on technical and local enterprise aspects of community hydro systems it is suited for beginners, as well as experienced practitioners who want to refresh their knowledge. The program consists of the following six modules:

  1. Orientation to Micro-Hydro Mini-Grids
  2. Social Enterprise Models for Mini-Grids
  3. Demand Assessment
  4. Water Resource Assessment
  5. Terrain Assessment
  6. Power Output Design

After the kick-off session on the 7th of February, the participants will complete one module per week – mostly self-paced via the learning management system of SEEED. A weekly Q&A session with experts, as well as opportunities for peer-to-peer dialogue will be provided during the training. Register now till 1st of February!

RedBioLAC’s 4th ​​Boletín de noticias for 2021

News from WISIONS posted on January 11th, 2022

In its last newsletter of the year RedBioLAC recaps their work as a network for applied research, implementation and advocacy for biodigesters in the last months of 2021. It presents a selection of RedBioLACs latest webinars, publications and events in the context of biodigesters and biogas in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read moreMinimize

The edition highlights among others:

  • New research insights in renewable energy, with the publication of the 5th annual edition of RedBioLAC’s journal Revista. In 15 papers this issue takes a close look at five different countriesfocussing mainly on the technology of co-digestion, while also discussing community and educational experiences in the context of biodigestion, as well as biodigestion with municipal or urban organic waste.
  • A webinar about the development and experience of implementing biodigesters in Ecuador in cooperation with RedBioEC. It featured discussions with different practitioners and actors in the field of biodigesters, biogas and anaerobic digestion – find the recording here.
  • The network's annual meeting Encuentro was held for the 13th time in October. Multiple webinars and presentations highlighted the various aspects of biodigestion and biogas, while an inter-network forum gave four organisations from the biodigestion sphere the opportunity to present their work. Parallel to the presentations, expert consultation rooms were opened, giving participants the chance to address questions concerning their own projects and receive help by biogas and anaerobic digestion experts. Watch the recordings via Youtube.
  • An online event launched the publication of the book “Rural energy poverty, contributions to facilitate access to energy in rural Peru: the Cajamarca case". It takes a deep-dive into the topic of rural energy poverty in Peru, written by the CSO Energía, Ambiente y Sostenibilidad and published with the support of Green Empowerment.

You can visit RedBioLACs website for further information!

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!

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