Hydro EMPowerment Network

Knowledge Exchange for Community Micro Hydro in South and Southeast Asia

The Hydro Empowerment Network aims to facilitate knowledge sharing between actors in the field of micro hydro power in South and South East Asia to reach the goal of achieving the broader standardisation and dissemination of micro hydro power in these regions.

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WISIONS Side Event at COP23 in Bonn, 16th November

News from WISIONS posted on November 2nd, 2017

COP23, the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 will take place from 6th - 17th November under Presidency of the Government of Fiji in Bonn, Germany. The WISIONS team will participate in the conference and also host a side event on 16th November 2017.Read moreMinimize

On 16th November 2017, WISIONS is hosting a side-event in Bonn, which will take place in the Post Tower, directly next to the Bonn Zone, the event is entitled:

From Paris to Action at Local Level in the Global South – What Role Can Local Energy Practitioners and Existing Knowledge Networks Play?

Following the adoption of the Paris agreement and the SDG Agenda 2030, the focus of debate is shifting towards (a) how to connect the implementation of both agendas and find synergies; and (b) how to involve and strengthen activities of non-state actors at local level.

Energy practitioners are key actors on the frontline of efforts to provide energy services to unelectrified and under-served areas, thereby contributing to several SDGs simultaneously. 

At the same time, energy practitioner knowledge networks have proven to be successful in strengthening capacities and exchange of know-how. 

Despite this background, the role of energy practitioners as change agents is often not recognised by themselves, nor reflected in the debates on the SDGs and climate action.

In this panel discussion and two following workshops we would like to discuss these aspects with experts from different fields in the climate, energy and development contexts and with practitioners from Latin America and Asia.

Details on the event's panelists, programme and venue can be found here.

You can follow us on Twitter during the COP23 @wisions or our Wuppertal colleagues @wupperinst under the hashtag #MakingParisPossible


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Introduction

Pico and micro hydro power (P/MHP) systems (defined as systems with a capacity smaller than 100 kW) have huge potential in many remote areas around the world and especially in the humid and hilly regions of South and Southeast Asia. Although micro hydro is well established in several countries in the region, it has yet to reach its full potential.

The needs that are primarily addressed for off-grid communities are electrical services, such as for lighting and communications, as well as productive and agricultural uses such as milling or irrigation. In the current context of high fuel and electricity prices this technology can also play an important role in generating clean electricity in areas that are connected to the national grid, but which suffer from an unreliable electricity supply.

The need to develop a network was highlighted by several organisations working with WISIONS. As a first step a workshop was held in February 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. There were 10 participating organisations, from the Philippines, Thailand, Lao PDR, Sri Lanka, India and Nepal, together with members of the WISIONS team. As a result of the ideas generated during this workshop the Hydro Empowerment Network was formed. For a list of all members, please visit this link. For details on becoming an HPNET member, please follow this link.

Mission & Goals

The Hydro Empowerment Network aims to catalyse the advancement and advocacy of resilient micro hydropower, towards equitable and sustainable development of rural communities in South and Southeast Asia.

The network provides an effective knowledge exchange platform for

  • Technology development and innovation for robust implementation
  • Policy for sustainable impact and scalability
  • Cultivation of local experts, productive uses, and vibrant watersheds

Members aim to transfer knowledge exchange into action, by building the capacity of local change agents for

  • Technology design and dissemination
  • Ground-truthing policy ideas and outputs
  • Bottom-up project sustainability mechanisms

Activities

The network’s activities include collaborative research among members (both regional and country-specific), advocacy and bilateral and multi-lateral in-person exchanges, such as technical capacity-building workshops, practice-to-policy exchanges and network gatherings.

Network Gatherings

The meetings provide the opportunity for members to exchange knowledge and ideas in a face-to-face
setting; to share experiences, gain new insights and build new partnerships, as well as to further develop and strengthen existing ones. The first two gatherings were held in Borneo/Malaysia, 2013 and in Bandung/Indonesia, in 2015, while the third was the first gathering in South Asia, held in Nepal in 2016.


Practice-to-Policy Workshops

HPNET’s practice-to-policy exchanges facilitate practitioners and other MHP multi-actors
to understand common goals in order to advance the sector.

Technical Training Sessions

HPNET members organise different forms of capacity-building sessions to strengthen the skills of local technicians and community organisers, who are often the first point of contact in local communities, e.g. training courses to build local capacity on concrete pico-hydro turbines, electronic load controllers (ELC) and advocacy through the development of multi-media skills (see details of linked SEPS exchanges in the right column).

Online Exchange and Web-Based Knowledge Portal

The different levels of face-to-face exchange are complemented by a network website presenting profiles of the members, members’ online forums and an online library of catalogued micro-hydro documents, multi-media products and a contacts database.

Upcoming Events

Dipti Vaghela will take part in an IRENA side event at UNESCAP SDG7 on 21st February 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Coordination & Support

For the initial three years, the regional coordinator responsible for the network activities was Janathakshan (GTE) Limited, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Since 2015, MHP expert Dipti Vaghela (left) has taken over the coordinating role.

The network was initiated and is primarily supported by the WISIONS initiative.