2010 EU Energy Initiative Policy - Discussion Paper


2There are different classifications of small hydropower. This paper focuses mainly on micro hydro schemes (MHP) below 200 kW and to a smaller extend also includes mini hydro plants (below 1 MW). This size is suited to furnish insular grids providing electricity to rural villages (which is a main focus of technical cooperation) but also to feed into public grids. Bigger plants are in most cases out of the range of technical cooperation and require a much longer planning period and different constructive characteristics such as dams etc.3 The paper first outlines the potential of MHP and its current positioning in terms of existing and planned MHP projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a second step, the main barriers for MHP sector development are briefly described and wherever possible underlined with some examples from the field. For each main barrier, several potential and existing mitigating strategies are outlined and good practices are identified. The report concludes with some preliminary recommendations of how the gap between existing top-down regulation and regulatory needs of MHP projects can be overcome in order to deploy MHP in Sub-Saharan Africa on a larger scale.