A small scale power plant that generates electricity using the energy potential of water. Micro-hydro power plants convert the energy of flowing water into electrical energy. The energy produced by them is renewable & the process does not emit polluting gasses.
The concept of Sustainable Development relies heavily on judicious use of natural resources. This in other words means maintaining the fragile balance between the resource use and exploitation. But to strike the balance is rather a difficult task, threshold into consideration, for excessive demands are made on limited resources.
The causes and effects of environmental problem arising from an unbalanced approach and inappropriate technology such as large macro hydro project, are complex, interlocked and unmeasured. The impacts - frequently synergistic in nature - could sometimes be irreversible. However, the only solution to these problems is to minimize the impacts : smaller the project, lesser the impact. This is where Micro Hydel Projects play an important role. They rarely cause any environmental damage.
Micro hydro-power projects has a number of benefits over other sources of power generation some of them are given below.
- A constant supply of electricity
- Savings on the cost of buying diesel for diesel powered generators
- Low environmental impact
- Low noise and air pollution
- Coupled with reforestation in the water catchments area,the project also aims to reduce the risk of flash floods in years to come.
- Does Not Potentially Cause The Submerging Of Forest/Agricultural Land, Reservoir Enlargement, Residential Relocation Or Seismological Threats.
- Generation Of Hydro power Produces No Greenhouse, Air Pollutants Or Any Waste Products.
- Energy In Remote And Hilly Areas Where Extension Of Grid System Un-Economical
- Non Polluting And Environmentally Benign
- Water Supply
- Small Scale Irrigation
- Small Scale Agriculture Industry - Rice & Oil Mills, Wood Industries -Saw Mills
Some of other benefits of the micro hydropower project will be discussed below
It can provide electric light to houses, industries, hospitals, schools, colleges, Universities etc in a given area where the small hydropower project is to be established.
Fetching drinking water from the rivers is a laborious job of the village women. The project can provide drinking water to the hamlets in the vicinity of the project site. This will relieve the work load of the village women a lot.
Much physical labor of the women is being put into use to grind the food grains by traditional methods. The diesel units are only accessible to the wealth due to exorbitant rates. So one or two community controlled grinding units can be stated in the village which will in turn reduce the work load of the women-fold in addition to financial benefits.
Irrigation can be made to at least 20 hectares ( say, otherwise depends upon the discharge and head available) of land on the vicinity of the project site. The people of other places can also use electric pumps to irrigate their lands in a restricted manner to ensure that adverse effects will not be created to the ecology and sociology of the society.
Oil Extracting Unit
One or two oil extracting units can be started with the electricity generated from the project. Oil extraction is a very difficult task in the village now.
Community Recreation Centers
One or two community recreation centers having facilities like radio, TV, etc. can be started with the electricity.
Direct employment opportunities as detailed below will be generated by the project.
- Operators to operate the systems
- Maintaining staff to maintain the lines and wires
- Office staff to collect charges and keep accounts
- Grinding Units
- Oil extraction units