Micro hydro systems: An alternative energy source

For over a month, the crisis in Joshimath has sparked debate about the role of hydropower in the Himalayan region. A glacier burst two years ago raised concerns about the Rishiganga hydroelectric project in Uttarakhand.

What exactly is hydropower?

  • Hydropower generates electricity from the natural flow of water with no emissions or pollutants released. It is also not dependent on fossil fuels. As a result, it is frequently referred to as green energy.

Hydropower Projects in the Himalayas

  • The Himalayas are a major source of water for much of South Asia: The majority of the region’s countries, including India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan, have built or plan to build hydropower projects in the Himalaya.
  • Hydropower is one of India’s primary renewable energy sources: The government of India has identified hydropower as a critical renewable energy source. Many hydropower projects in the Indian Himalaya are under construction or in the planning stages, including the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh and the Teesta Low Dam Hydroelectric Project in Sikkim.
  • Nepal has also identified hydropower as a major source of energy: the Arun III Hydroelectric Project and the West Seti Hydroelectric Project are both in the planning and development stages.
  • Bhutan’s main source of revenue: Hydropower is the country’s main source of revenue, and the government has set a goal of exporting surplus electricity to India. The Chukha Hydropower Project and the Tala Hydropower Project are two of the country’s hydropower projects.

Concerns about potential water resource conflicts in the region

  • Himalayan ecosystem is already under stress: The Himalaya is a fragile ecosystem with a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is already under threat from deforestation, overgrazing, and construction activities that harm the environment and the communities that rely on it.
  • Dam construction can alter river flow characteristics: Dam construction can alter river flow characteristics, resulting in changes in water temperature and chemistry. It can also cause erosion, landslides, and sedimentation, all of which are harmful to the local environment.
  • Dam construction disrupts local population well-being: Dams also disrupt the migration patterns of fish and other aquatic species and have an impact on local wildlife, particularly if the dam’s construction results in habitat loss. Large-scale hydroelectric dams displace local communities, affecting their livelihoods and cultural heritage, as well as the local population’s overall well-being.

Micro hydro systems as an alternative to hydropower

  • A 100 kW micro hydro system is a small-scale hydroelectric power generation system that typically generates up to 100 kW of electricity.
  • Applications: These systems use falling water energy to turn a turbine, which generates electricity. They can be used to power homes, businesses, and small communities, among other things.
  • They are typically less expensive to build and maintain than large hydroelectric dams and have a smaller environmental footprint.
  • They can be placed in inaccessible areas where it is difficult to transmit electricity from larger power plants, and they can provide a reliable source of energy to communities that are not connected to the grid.
  • There are two kinds: Micro hydro systems are divided into two types: run-of-river and storage systems. 1. Run-of-river systems generate electricity by harnessing the natural flow of water in a stream or river. 2. Storage systems, on the other hand, use a reservoir to store water and release it as needed to generate electricity.

@the end

The environmental impact of hydropower can vary depending on the project and how it is implemented. Micro hydro systems can be designed to have a low environmental impact while also providing long-term energy solutions. It may, however, have an impact on the environment and local communities. Before proceeding with the project, a thorough assessment of the potential impact should be performed.

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.