USAID’s SARI/Energy Program and the Nepalese Ministry of Environment’s Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) launched the Regional Centre of Excellence in Micro Hydro (RCEMH) on 19 April 2010 in Katmandu. RCEMH will draw on Nepal’s 25+ years of experience in micro hydro experience and assemble experts from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to promote micro hydro development throughout South Asia.
Nepal has been using micro hydro to provide energy to remote low-income populations with few conventional energy options. AEPC has installed some 607 projects that generate 7.2 MW benefiting 70,000 families. It has another 645 projects in the pipeline that will add 19.5 MW of installed capacity in Nepal.
Presiding over the launch ceremony were the Nepalese Ministers the Honorable Mr. Surendra Pandey, Ministry of Finance, and Honorable Mr. Thakur Sharma, Ministry of Environment. Dr. Kevin A. Rushing, Mission Director, USAID/Nepal, Mr. S. Padmanaban, Regional Program Director, SARI/Energy, USAID/India, and Dr. Narayan Prasad Chaulagain, Executive Director, AEPC also attended.
Before the ceremony, APEC hosted an exhibition on micro hydro equipment featuring Pelton turbines, electric control panels, control and testing equipment, literature and training material were on display. More than 200 people visited the exhibition, which drew an enthusiastic
The RCEMH will operate on a self-sustaining basis and offer clients a proven methodology, and a results-oriented management approach that incorporates high staff training levels, quality outputs and knowledge sharing. It will work to fulfill the knowledge and experience gap among policy makers and act as a knowledge centre for the micro hydro sector in the SARI/E region.