This paper in the poor people's energy briefing series uses Practical Action’s experiences with micro-hydro schemes to connect global nexus debates to the experiences of and solutions for remote off-grid communities and smallholder farmers. Through examples in Peru, Nepal, and Zimbabwe we exemplify the need for an integrated approach to energy, water, and food security. We show that decentralized energy provision has a huge potential to deliver the services that communities need and have a right to, while balancing the constraints of an increasingly resource-scarce environment.