The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Centre on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP) announced last month that they have launched a new web-based knowledge-sharing portal on small hydropower. The purpose of the portal is to hopefully make it easier for developers, policymakers and other interested stakeholders to access data about the vast potential of small hydropower.

According to the organizations, there are currently 75 gigawatts (GW) of installed small hydropower capacity worldwide compared to a 173-GW potential meaning that more than 50 percent of the world’s potential small hydropower capacity is still untapped.

In addition to offering insight into the world’s small hydropower installed capacity, the database, which can be found here- (http://www.smallhydroworld.org/) contains 20 regional overviews and 149 country-level reports. For example it shows that North America has already tapped 86 percent of its potential capacity for small hydro whereas regions such as Central and Eastern Asia have developed less than four and twenty percent, respectively.

“Small hydropower is one of the most suitable energy solutions for fostering inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” said Diego Masera, head of UNIDO’s Renewable and Rural Energy Unit, in a statement.

In the forward to the 2013 World Small Hydropower Development Report (WSHPDR), Chen Lei, Chinese Minister of Water Resources and Honorary Chairman of the International Network of Small Hydropower, writes that developing countries who possess vast small hydro potential but little technological know-how will benefit from the Small Hydropower World website. “Blessed with huge hydro potentials yet hindered by low level of development, developing countries still face a huge gap in terms of hydropower technology and equipment manufacturing,” he wrote.  Publishing frequent and factual information on small hydropower, he explained, “promote[s] modern concepts, updated technologies and latest approaches and experiences about small hydropower, in order to create opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, while highlighting it as a green and clean renewable energy to serve world development.”

To that end, UNIDO and ICSHP are collaborating with national institutions to facilitate continuous monitoring and collection of small hydropower data and are actively reaching out to potential partners to provide up-to-date information. The changes will be reflected regularly on the website.

 

Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com

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About kingstonrenewableenergy

Kingston Renewable Energy (KRE), Hydropower products, wind energy, renewable energy products, We manufacture, supply and install. Richard Kingston KRE is the home of Fluxy, a beautiful Irish made wind turbine designed to last several life-times, and a host of other Hydro products branded under KRE hydro. KRE HYDRO- KRE are currently installing a range of Hydro products including high head low flow systems and low head high flow. These are pelton and Turgo types for high head, crossflow Banki turbines for medium to low head and Powerpal for Ultra low head. We also plan to introduce a custom timber/steel/aluminium waterwheel service for those of you who are lucky enough to have disused mills on their land and who would like to restore them to their former glory (and make a healthy profit in the process). All hydro installations are custom designed. This is necessary because everybody's land and water resource is different and to benefit from the highest efficiency and lowest payback time the hydro system must be customized according to what flow, penstock length required, and what head is available. Hydropower is currently by far the most cost effective renewable resource in Ireland under the existing Feed in tariff structure and export rate of 9c per unit (wholesale rate for bigger systems is €0.087/kWh). It is surprising how much energy is to be harvested from even a small stream and we are offering 4 to 7 year payback times on average and high profits thereafter. KRE FLUXY- It has been a long journey from when I originally set out to buy a wind turbine to power my own house in 2007 and discovered that the existing machines on offer in the market failed to meet my desires as a customer; that is, to possess an aesthetically designed machine with a low embodied carbon footprint and a long design lifespan. This led to my resolve to make this a possibility as I knew there were other like minded folks out there who had the same needs when buying into renewable energy. I have always been a keen environmental activist and had a strong understanding of engineering and material sciences which enabled me to see failings in the high tech electronically controlled machines commonly available today. These weaknesses come from over complicating the wind system with servo motors, sensors, gear trains, relays and logic circuits; fine for large utility scale turbines which are constantly monitored and have continual maintenance on site but not for a small wind turbine in the back yard to run the house. I could see that wind turbines needed to be brought back to a less complicated yet modern design that would withstand time and the turbulent and violent winds we see in Ireland and fulfilling the old engineers adage of ‘KISS’ or ‘keep it simple stupid’. With less component parts, there are less things to go wrong. My vision was to create a machine that offered the benefits of being an economic investment, a positive for the environment and also to be a design piece that our customers are proud to have flying in their grounds. And so, I present you with the fully mechanical Kingston Renewable Energy Fluxy wind turbine. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or think you may have a good wind site. We will happily do a site assessment come rain or shine. Stay posted for the monthly blogs from our inspirational team here at KRE. Check out our latest installments in our crusade to get higher feed-in tariffs in Ireland so that we can compete with the rest of Europe in the micro-generation stakes. The Hydro section of our website will be updated shortly to show our newest installations and showcase our products. Yours sincerely, Richard Kingston

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