WISIONS of sustainability is a Wuppertal Institute initiative supported by the Swiss-based foundation ProEvolution. The initiative was launched in 2004 to promote practical and sustainable energy projects. Particular focus is given to practical initiatives in local (small) context of developing regions, i.e. initiatives on sustainable energy solutions that:
- arise as respond to specific (energy related) gaps hindering local sustainable development,
- take advantage and lead to further development of local available capacities,
- are driven by or include the active contribution of actors already involved in the local realities.
The current structure of WISIONS consists of three activities with different but complementary targets:
- Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS)
- Technology Radar
- Regional Partnerships
Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS)
WISIONS supports sustainable, innovative and feasible energy projects via its Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS) scheme. The projects selected for SEPS funding are ready for implementation and have the potential for replication.
SEPS is looking for activities that harness local human and natural resources in order to respond to local energy needs. The solutions should include the use of renewable energy technologies and/or more efficient use of existing systems. The most promising concepts are selected using a thorough, multi-level evaluation process based on internationally recognized. Since its inception in 2004, a total of 53 projects around the world have been selected for SEPS support.
A call for proposal is yearly launched, commonly during Springtime (north hemisphere). Since 2009 the calls are dedicated to specific energy (related) needs. The last call from 2011 was dedicated to the topic "Energy for Food Processing".
The online WISIONS' platform offer different kind of information from SEPS projects: project site, project partners, technology applied, lessons learned, key facts, project summaries, etc.
The aim of the WISIONS Technology Radar is to offer scientifically founded information for individuals who come from different backgrounds but share a common interest in identifying and applying solutions to address global challenges related to the need for energy.
The developed tool is online available at WISIONS website. It consists of five information blocks covering five basic energy (related) needs:
- Access to electricity
- Food issues (preparation and processing)
- Heating and cooling (for buildings)
- Water issues
Each information block offers a comprehensive overview of renewable energy technologies and their possible contribution to meeting needs, today and in the future.
The aim of WISIONS' Regional Partnerships is twofold:
- promote the demonstration of sustainable energy technologies in key regions by providing financial support to a number of selected projects.
- promote the building of regional structures that drive the development and diffusion of the technologies in the target regions by fostering dialog and cooperation between researchers, decision-makers and investors.
In addition to the regional focus, the partnerships will concentrate on specific technologies with high potentials in the partner regions. Renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are the main focus of interest. The different areas of energy use, such as power generation, cooking, cooling or heating and water irrigation, will also be included.
News and recent developments
- February: 2013: With help from Fundación EcoAndina and WISIONS Initiative, there has been a successful launch of solar powered food carts in operation in northern Argentina. During the celebrations of Carnival of Puna, which spans almost all of February, the intrepid promoters of the sun's energy walked a few new solar kiosks through the streets in Tilcara, Humahuaca, La Quiaca, Purmamarca and Uquía, tourist sites the northern province of Jujuy. Each Kiosco SOLAR consists of a wheeled trolley, waterproof roof, and a parabolic solar cooker. "People are incredulous and astonished when the cart is in operation," says Marta Rojas, responsible for opening a kiosk this month in Tilcara. As a safety concern, there has been a need to begin replace traditional food carts, where typically food is cooked directly over gas canisters or open fires.
- October 2011: brochure on "Food Issues - Renewable Energy for food preparation and processing" online available In the second publication of WISIONS Technology Radar you will find, short, clear descriptions of the regarded technologies and their global potential, development prospects as well as information on socio-economic aspects and impacts, which are crucial for their successful implementation. Next to that nine case studies of successfully implemented projects for each regarded technology are presented. All projects had been supported under WISIONS Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS). For cooking we had a specific look at biomass and biogas stoves, presenting projects examples from Laos, China, India and Kenya. Next to that the different solar appliances for food processing, like solar cookers, solar ovens and solar dryers have been analyzed in detail. The technology descriptions are illustrated with case studies, like solar cookers in Argentina and Burkina Faso, solar ovens applied in Cameroon and Gambia as well as solar dryers tested in Afghanistan.
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