In these mountainous regions, one can see the benefits of sustainable energy production: until recently, light and heat came from burning wood (which lead to deforestation and soil erosion) or
from dirty and inefficient diesel generators. Now, the use of locally produced renewable energy allows for sustainable development without emissions harmful to people and planet.
Technically, the hydro plants operate without dam (with their known problems of dam construction, flooding, resettlement, environmental impacts on river flora, etc.) but convert the force of water flowing through a penstock over a natural height difference into electrical energy. The emission reductions result from the replacement of carbon intensive coal power – still common in China – with clean hydro power.
Only by combining a multitude of small and micro power plants with an installed capacity of 0.5 to 15 MW each, the single small and micro hydro plants became viable for carbon trade and can now be co-funded by organisations and individuals striving to make a difference to the world.
The project also brings additional benefits to local communities, e.g. by supporting local farmers with new irrigation opportunities and with tree grafting workshops, but also with the provision of new jobs and infrastructural improvements.