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Sustainable Micro-Hydro through Energising Rural Enterprises and Livelihood (SMRE)

Sustainable Micro-Hydro through Energising Rural Enterprises and Livelihood (SMRE)

Country: Nepal and India
Locations: Dhaulagiri and Koraput (Odisha)
Date: April 2014-March 2017
Project Manager: Vishwa Amatya

Lack of electricity can be detrimental to people's lives because energy is essential to community facilities such as schools and health centres. In rural parts of Nepal and India such as Dhaulagiri and Koraput Practical Action has already installed micro-hydro plants. This project will focus on supporting these plants by providing technical assistance and establishing new rural livelihood activities.

The core strategy includes:

  1. Promotion of use of energy in livelihood activities for higher productivity and efficiency.
  2. Achievement of commercial viability of energy service provider.
  3. Achievement of financial sustainability of livelihood activities (cash flow for repairs and maintenance).
  4. Generate and disseminate evidence that energizing rural livelihood will ensure sustainability of energy service and promote productivity and efficiency of livelihood activities in the rural areas.

Practical Action is implementing Sustainable Micro-hydro through Energising Rural Enterprises and Livelihood (SMRE) project in in partnership with Dhaulagiri Community Resource Development Centre (DCRDC) in Nepal and Koraput Farmers’ Association (KFA) in Odisha, India.

With proper maintenance, micro-hydro plants are designed to last for a minimum of 20 years. This project aims to ensure that these micro-hydro plants stay sustainable by increasing energy utilisation enterprises that enhance rural livelihoods. We are striving to strengthen linkage between energy market systems and agro as well as non-agro based product market system. We are confident that this initiative will create a win-win scenario to rural livelihoods as well as energy infrastructure operation and sustainability.

The long-term goal of this project is to improve rural livelihoods by ensuring that micro-hydro systems are sustainable with increased energy production and utilization. Some of the enterprises which have been initiated include a tailoring centre, a meat shop and lokta paper processing centre. The Participatory Market System Development (PMSD) approach has been used to identify potential enterprises that can consume off-peak energy production from the micro-hydro plants. This means that full use is being made of the work that Practical Action is doing, and that there is no wastage of energy. Besides that, the project provides various capacity building and skill development training to the entrepreneurs, micro-hydro plant management committee members and operators.

Micro-hydro electricity generation for rural households in Odisha

Our projects in some rural pockets of Odisha (India) use water sources, setting up micro hydro power houses which are sufficient enough to light up a few villages.

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Practical Action has extensive experience of installing small scale micro hydro in rural areas. It has proved an easy to maintain and long-term solution to the energy needs of poor communities.

Micro-hydro power

Micro-hydro power is a renewable, indigenous and non-polluting resource for the small-scale generation of energy using falling water.

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