Rural Micro-Hydropower Development

Introduction and Background

Energy and Environment is one of the three main areas of thematic focus for UNIDO. Within this area, UNIDO has an on-going partnership with the International Network on Small Hydro Power (INSHP) in China for the promotion of Small Hydro power as a clean and viable alternative for providing power and stimulating productive activities in rural and remote areas. Through the partnership, technology and experience are disseminated, mainly from China and India where the methodology has been highly developed.

Run-of-the-river streams are tapped using simple technologies for micro and small hydro power schemes which the local communities can easily operate and maintain.

Micro Hydro Power Scheme at Kinko Village, Lushoto, Tanga Region

In Tanzania, UNIDO and INSHP have teamed up with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, TANESCO and TaTEDO to identify potential sites for the development of small and micro hydropower schemes. The efforts have, so far, resulted in the establishment of a 9 kW micro hydropower scheme which is providing electricity for lighting to approximately 85 households and for productive uses such as grain milling, a small ICT centre with satellite television and computer internet facilities, hair cutting facilities and mobile phone-battery charging units in Kinko village, Lushoto district, Tanga Region.

Main Objectives
  • Provision of low-cost renewable source of energy for rural and remote communities
  • Stimulation of productive activities through the provision of affordable and sustainable energy supply
  • Transfer and demonstration of appropriate renewable technologies that can be easily implemented in rural areas
Main Features of the Micro Hydropower System at Kinko Village

Run-of-the-river scheme utilising simple civil-works including small check-dam, canal, forebay and intake wier; water pump reversed to function as micro turbine; 9.5kW electricity generator; Low-voltage mini-grid for local distribution.

The micro hydropower scheme is fully managed and operated by the village community of Kinko, who now have a first-hand opportunity to improve their livelihoods.


Rural Micro-Hydropower Development
Kinko Village, Lushoto, Thanga region