Clean energy for China's remote mountain communities

This project consists of multiple small-scale hydropower plants that generate renewable energy for rural Southwest and South Central China. By supplying clean hydroelectric power to the local grid, the project displaces greenhouse gas emissions, helping mitigate climate change and improving the lives of local people.

The context

The powerful rivers of China's mountainous areas can be harnessed to generate electricity for its remote communities and the wider region, but hydroelectric power plants require substantial investment to set up. Prior to the project, local communities experienced poor living conditions. At a time when 80 percent of China's energy demands were met by coal-fired power stations, these communities had unreliable access to electricity and there was little regional investment.

The project

Huóshui Grouped Small Hydropower is made up of 95 hydropower plants with a total combined capacity of 215.71 MW that generate clean energy to help meet China's mounting energy demands sustainably. The small-scale plants range in capacity from 0.1 to 14 MW, and together supply enough renewable energy to power over half a million average Chinese homes each year. Their 'run-of-river' design allows them to do so with minimal environmental impact. The cost of developing hydropower plants in remote locations is a significant barrier to construction, so this project would not be possible without the revenue generated by carbon credits.

The benefits

Huóshi Grouped Small Hydropower helps diversify China's energy sector and provides local employment opportunities in power plant construction and operation, alleviating regional poverty. The project activities also fund social initiatives in cooperation with local organisations, including disaster relief funds and educational programmes, including those aimed at improving the lives of China's left-behind children, whose parents have migrated to the cities for work leaving their children behind. Sustainable agricultural workshops create increased income opportunities for local farmers, while the reliable electricity supplied by the project gives remote communities better access to electrical appliances that ameliorate their daily life.

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