Micro-Hydro Power (MHP) technology is relatively well-established in Indonesia and holds significant potential for communities choosing to invest in Renewable Energy (RE). Over the past 25 years, the MHP sector has developed significantly; local service providers have proven their capacity to develop successful ‘stand-alone’ rural electrification and ‘grid-connected’ MHP schemes within a specific size range (typically between 5kW and 30kW). The power generated through RE can also be used to not only supply households, but also provide electricity to productive end-users such as micro- and small-enterprises in agri-business, as well as to social service institutions such as schools and health clinics. Effective implementation and maintenance of MHP schemes requires proper management of environmental services within the areas where they are located. The Danish Aid agency (DANIDA) has provided $560,000 for the Opwall Trust (Indonesia) to ensure the selected communities and local government in south and west Sulawesi and west Sumatra were made aware and trained in how to ensure stable catchment management (i.e. maintenance or increase of forest cover) so that micro-hydro power schemes could be successfully introduced.
From June 2010, the Opwall Trust (Indonesia) has delivered training, awareness and technical assistance and facilitated the development of village tree nurseries. The main achievements to date are:
- Increasing awareness and enhanced capacity building of local community and local government on catchment areas management;
- The development of village tree nurseries and village seed sources;
- The establishment of pilot areas for catchment rehabilitation;
- All renewable energy facilitators in Sulawesi have been trained on catchment area management and conservation;
- The strong spirit of local community and local government to rehabilitate catchment areas and to develop inter-village catchment management planning.
This project has been so successful that DANIDA has extended the programme until December 2012.