Strengthening Micro Hydropower Role in Renewable Energy Sector
Dec 05, 2016
The Hydro Empowerment Network (HPNET) held its 3rd Annual Gathering on 22-25 November 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal, participated by at least 40 practitioners from 14 countries. The event was hosted by the Nepal Micro Hydropower Development Association (NMHDA) and supported by WISIONS Germany, the Nepalese Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), and the Skat Foundation Switzerland.
HPNET is in its 3rd year of operation and currently has 70 members with expertise in policy, financing, technology development, watershed strengthening, and community organising processes. The network serves as a knowledge and advocacy platform for micro and mini hydropower (MHP) practitioners across South and Southeast Asia. This year, Amalia Suryani represented Endev Indonesia in participating in the annual gathering.
As part of the agenda, the members discussed issues in five thematic panels on the following topics: MHP Research and Advocacy, Integrating MHP into National Electrification Planning, Financing Mechanism, Socio-Environment Sustainability, and Technical Capacity Development. This year the gathering also attempted to link HPNET members to mainstream international development agencies, among others IRENA, World Bank, and Winrock International, who were invited as guest speakers in the panel discussion. The presence of these mainstream actors would be an invaluable opportunity for HPNET members to directly showcase their work to powerful development agencies in the region.
The overall purpose of the event is to synergise the growing membership of HPNET towards finding effective ways to develop and use the HPNET platform, in order to meet shared aims of advancing the sector as a whole. Building up from the reflection of the earlier events, the gathering highlighted a more inclusive, milestone-based approach, where the Working Groups become the core players within the network. This year the gathering has successfully formed nine Working Groups with a more focused topic to work on among the members.
Being in Nepal where the event held, HPNET members had the advantage to see the progress in micro and mini hydropower development in the country. Nepal has a long history of MHP development and much to share with the HPNET members in the form of interfacing with experts, visiting an under-construction training centre with a cross-flow and Pelton turbines installed in the centre. The members learned a lot of aspects about Nepal's MHP revolution, including financing models, cooperative and ownerships models, as well as the impact of and designing for resilience against climate change event.
Dipti Vaghela (firstname.lastname@example.org)