Micro and small hydro-power schemes have little or no environmental impact and can provide a range of valuable energy services especially in rural areas. In regions with hydro-power potential, this form of renewable energy is the most cost-effective opportunity to energize on/off-grid areas. Micro and small hydro-power can be applied to satisfy low-to-medium voltage electric needs such as lighting or telecommunication and to provide motive power for small industry. UNIDO emphasizes small-scale hydro-power and is currently implementing projects in China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda and Mali.
UNIDO is developing a large umbrella regional programme with a special focus on South-South cooperation to establish and implement about 100 SHP projects in Africa within the next 3 years, and replicate them in other regions such as Latin America and Asia.
Technical support for UNIDO's SHP projects is provided by the International Centre for Small Hydro-Power (ICSHP) at Hangzhou in China, which facilitates the execution of activities in the field of small hydro-power and fosters cooperation worldwide. UNIDO's Regional Centre for Small Hydro Power in Trivendrum (India) and UNIDO's Regional Centre for Small Hydro Power in Abuja (Nigeria) provide technical assistance at the regional level.
UNIDO has established an energy kiosk (2.5 KW) consisting of pico hydro and solar PV to energize a remote village in Kenya. The produced energy is used for providing productive, communication and community services.