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.
New edition of The Flow
News from WISIONS posted on January 5th, 2022
The highlights of this issue amongst others are:
- Updates from members of the Hydro Empowerment Network about their work in Nepal, who were able to put a 200kW mini hydropower system into operation, and in Indonesia, with the founder of a manufacturing business for hydro turbines presenting his work via an article on HPNETs blog
- An upcoming virtual training opportunity on the fundamentals of community-scale hydro-grids in January. The training is part of the SEEED initiative that aims to support community-hydro practitioners to customize sustainability mechanisms to local contexts, enabling climate resilience and socio-economic co-benefits.
- The fourth edition of the video podcast series StreamSide Chats, which takes a deep dive into social and environmental aspects of community hydro and particularly how the Kalinga Indigenious people manage their hydro mini-grids. Join in for a virtual tour around the Balbalasang micro hydro project.
- A new interview in the interview series Hidden No More, which features women working as small-scale hydro practitioners who have overcome gender-barriers. This edition highlights the work of former Executive Director of SIBAT Victoria Lopez and her experience on the role of women in micro hydro planning and implementation.
- The presentation of an easy-to-follow fact sheet about electronic load controllers that provides detailed information on different kinds of flow control, their relative cost and their suitability given the context in which they are used, enabling practitioners to select the best equipment for their systems..
You can find the newsletter here or visit HPNETs blog for further information!
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.