Hello BEST members,

For our final week at the BioEnergy and Sustainability School, we will be exploring hydropower. The Hydropower Empowerment Network takes a country-by-country approach to bringing electricity to rural areas through micro-hydro and other technologies. Micro-hydro is hydropower that produces less than one megawatt of energy and therefore typically creates no reservoir. This is an ideal technology for small communities outside of the central grid. To install this type of system, it can take up to two years with the help of local people. An in-depth understanding of the watershed must first be achieved. Then, “locals need to build a small check dam and a channel, lay the pipes, and build the powerhouse, the turbine, and the transmission line.” Community involvement gives locals pride and the knowledge to repair and maintain the system. This is one way in which renewable energy can empower others and create a sustainable future.

The Surprising Success of Micro Hydro

International Rivers

June 1, 2016


Gillian Palino

Undergraduate Intern

2016 BioEnergy & Sustainability School

Soil and Water Science Department