Hydro EMPowerment Network
Knowledge Exchange for Community Micro Hydro in South and Southeast Asia
The Hydro Empowerment Network aims to advance sustainable small-scale hydropower for community empowerment in the global South. Its goals are to provide an effective south-south knowledge exchange platform and to transform knowledge exchange into action, by building the capacity of local change agents.
Mini-Grids Webinar Series 2019
News from WISIONS posted on March 18th, 2019
Renewable energy mini-grids are a cost-effective and reliable solution for energy access. Within the technologies available for mini-grids, micro and mini hydropower has added advantages. Its techno-economic characteristics, such as lower levelised cost of electricity, per kilowatt cost, and no need for battery storage, make it economically viable for grid interconnection and productive end use applications.
Micro and mini hydropower (MHP) implementation involves technical expertise in hydrology, civil works, electro-mechanical, electrical, and electronics. Thanks to the pioneers of knowledge transfer for small-scale hydropower, comprehensive and frequent training was made available in the 1990s to practitioners in the global south. While such training is rare in the present-day scenario, the earlier efforts led to the creation of local experts who have since established local training centers. The Southeast Asia region particularly benefits from micro hydropower training centers.
This webinar – the first in a series of four webinars – will feature the following training centers that provide local capacity building for the development, operation, and maintenance of community-based micro hydro projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines:
- Tonibung Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE), Malaysia
- ASEAN Hydropower Competence Centre (HYCOM), Indonesia
- SIBAT Center for RE and Appropriate Technology (CREATech), Philippines
Read more and see the slides of the presentations on Energypedia's event page.
Pico and microhydro power (P/MHP) systems (defined as systems with a capacity smaller than 100 kW) have a 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, which was attended by 10 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.
- Technology development and innovation for robust implementation
- Policy for sustainable impact and scalability
- Cultivation of local experts, productive uses, and vibrant watersheds
- Technology design and dissemination
- Ground-truthing policy ideas and outputs
- Bottom-up project sustainability mechanisms
Network GatheringsThe 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.
Practice-to-Policy WorkshopsHPNET’s practice-to-policy exchanges facilitate practitioners and other MHP multi-actors to understand common goals in order to advance the sector.
Technical Training SessionsHPNET 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 PortalThe 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.
Recent EventsThe Hydro Empowerment Network hosted a Deep Dive Workshop on 17 June 2019 at the Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila in collaboration with WISIONS. The topic was "Hydro Mini-Grids in the Asia-Pacific: Scaling Inclusive Enterprise-Based Approaches". You can see the highlights here:
Since 2015, MHP expert Dipti Vaghela (left) has taken over the coordinating role.