WISIONS of Sustainability

WISIONS Logo
  • Project no.150029
  • Duration 01/2014 - 12/2019

Since 2004, the WISIONS of Sustainability initiative has been actively promoting the demonstration and scalability of sustainable decentralised renewable energy (DRE) solutions. Its long-term objective is to make clean energy a default solution for basic energy needs in developing regions. The WISIONS approach is to empower local partners to identify and scale successful models and techniques in their regional contexts. The initiative comprises three inter-linked pillars that integrate practical and scientific elements of sustainable energy development.

I) WISIONS fosters regional partnerships and practitioner networks to facilitate knowledge development and sharing between practitioners and stakeholders and to induce the broader dissemination of DREs. Four international networks have been consolidated, with the active involvement of more than 80 organisations long-committed to people-centred sustainable energy solutions. Currently, our four partnerships and networks are: RedBioLAC, a biogas network in Latin America, together with its Colombian sub-network RedBioCOL; Hydro Empowerment Network which operates in South and South East Asia; and WindEmpowerment, spanning all countries worldwide. The development of a fifth international partnership is currently in process.

II) "SEPS - Sustainable Energy Project Support" nurtures innovative energy projects that are environmentally, economically and socially sound and fosters knowledge exchanges between practitioners. In 2015 more than 90 projects around the world have been supported in 39 countries, selected through regional and technology-specific calls for proposals (12 rounds of support have been completed).

III) The WISIONS research pillar links the active promotion of practitioner activities with the Wuppertal Institute’s mission and scientific competencies. It undertakes scientific analysis of the empirical base from field implementations. Research findings feed the knowledge base and discussions in scientific, practitioner and policy domains. The combination of practical development work with research know-how is specific in the energy development context.

For the 2014-2016 phase, the research pillar of WISIONS will concentrate on the following key aspects:

  • (Post-) evaluation of RE technology implementation with regard to its long-term sustainability à based on on-going evaluation of SEPS projects.
  • Transformation and transition patterns towards climate friendly technologies: what (societal and institutional) changes are needed to foster transformation towards the implementation of climate friendly technologies? à based on existing research of transition patterns in biogas projects.
  • Analysis of potential for holistic approaches: from pure energy supply to need-oriented paths/projects.
  • Practitioner Networks: how to ensure mutual learning of practitioners in the global south? How to solve common challenges and bring successful approaches to scale?
  • Research on successfully applied delivery models: what has worked well and what are the key elements for success? à based on existing literature and project results.

The main activities and roles of all three pillars and their interrelations is illustrated in the Figure below.

WISIONS of sustainability is an initiative of the Wuppertal Institute. Since its inception, WISIONS has been fully funded by the Swiss-based foundation ProEvolution.