The objectives of the meeting were to review the progress of 2018 and set priorities for 2019. Presentations were made by Mr. Satish Gautam and Mr. Jiwan Kumar Mallik of UNDP Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihoods (RERL), on micro hydro sustainability and interconnection of multiple projects to each other and to the central grid, respectively.
- Transitioning from un-sustainable to sustainable projects can be done by facilitating community-private-partnerships. Mechanisms to establish continuous operations and increasing plant load factors were identified.
- Solutions to ensure consistent operation included developing local service centers, training daughter-in-laws to become operators since they are less prone to moving away from the community, more frequent training, and establishing a micro hydro hotline.
- Climate resilience of micro hydro systems in Nepal was also discussed by Dr. Long Seng To of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN).
- Building onto the 2018 success of grid interconnection of hydro mini grids in Nepal, 2019 priorities focused on developing technology solutions for interconnected projects to equitably sell to the main grid. The bottleneck has been the lack of a technology known as the Droop synchronizer for micro hydro. Funding and policy challenges to interconnect more projects were also discussed.
- Ways to increase load factors that were discussed, developing a users association and providing training on financing and village enterprise development,
- The discussion also focused on how to scale the process piloted by the Alternate Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), UNDP-RERL, and Winrock Nepal to improve local management and revenue generation of two micro hydro projects. This effort was funded by the WISIONS SEPS and led to the results shown in the video below. HPNET Nepal members seek ways to replicate the process to all projects in Nepal.