Government of Nepal
Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation

Alternative Energy Promotion Centre

Making Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Mainstream Supply in Nepal
Mini/Micro Hydro

Mini Hydro

Mini hydro is the hydro-power system that generates electric power from 100 kW to 1MW capacity and serves nearby households through a mini-grid. AEPC has mandate to support mini hydro projects (100kW to 10MW). Renewable Energy  Subsidy Policy 2078 has a provision to provide subsidy to community/ cooperative owned mini hydro off-grid projects from 100kW to 1MW and mini hydro projects to be connected to grid. 

Mini-hydro is the promising solutions for providing electricity in the rural areas. However, there are only few successful Mini-Hydro schemes running in the country. Therefore, time has come to analyze the issues and challenges in the development of Mini-Hydro schemes in large numbers. Now, AEPC is coordinating with different  stakeholders to allow, facilitate, and create conducive environment for rapid development of mini-hydro.

Micro Hydro

Micro hydro shall be understood as hydroelectric generating units with capacities ranging above 10 to 100 kW. Micro-hydro has the potential to be a major source of energy for rural areas. Water is plentiful in the rugged hills of Nepal and micro-hydro provides a more practical and cost effective alternative to the national grid. Micro hydro consists of following activities:

  • Develop and promote the use of micro-hydro technology.
  • Carry out surveys and feasibility studies for micro-hydro projects.
  • Provide services to support the sustainable development of micro-hydro projects in Nepal.
  • Conduct training for micro-hydro users and service providers.
  • Work to establish local support structures for mini-grid electrification.
  • Provide quality control services for micro-hydro equipment.

Pico Hydro Technology

Pico hydro shall be understood as hydroelectric generating units with capacities upto 10 kW. It is simple and cheap technology that can be developed in local level. It includes Peltric Sets and also technologies which uses Pelton Turbine (low discharge and high head), Cross flow Turbine and other technologies (high discharge and low head) depending on available discharge and head. 

In Nepal, local manufacturer have developed Peltric Sets up to 5 kW capacities. Peltric Set is a single combined unit of induction generator, pelton turbine and simple control mechanism. Peltric Sets can be installed at hilly regions using high density polythene (HDPE) pipe of water supply projects.

Pico Hydro Technology has following advantages:

  • It can be implemented and managed locally. It is cheap technology with low discharge and high head uses HDPE  pipe which saves cost of transportation, canal construction and installation
  • It can be installed in short period of time and community can get immediate benefit.
  • It serves small community and therefore well manageable.
  • Medium level trained technician can easily install the technology
  • It can be installed at Break Pressure Tank (BPT) of water supply projects which is easy and cost effective. 

Improved Water Mill (IWM)

IWM is an intermediate technology that increases the efficiency of Traditional Water Mills (TWMs) resulting in increased energy output thus helping both the millers and its users. Replacement of wooden parts (rotor and shaft) with metallic parts is the main improvement made in this technology. Two types of IWMs are in practice: short shaft solely for grain grinding, and long shaft for grinding and other end uses such as paddy hulling and husking, rice polishing, saw-milling, oil expelling, lokta beating, chiura (flattened rice) making, and a number of others as per the need.

IWM provides energy services to households at a cheap investment and maintenance cost within a short period required for the construction work. The technology can also generate electricity up to 3-5 kW, sufficient for lighting and operating small electric and electronic devices such as televisions, radios, computers, battery charging stations, and other small electric home appliances- suitable for remote small clustered hamlets.

IWM Electrification

IWM Electrification (IWME) Scheme is defined as hydroelectric generating systems that are driven by Improved Water Mills (Ghatta), in sites where the net head is typically 2 m or more and the generating capacity is no more than 5 kW. The system has been designed to electrify the village. Furthermore, the system does not run in parallel with the grid. The life period of such system has been estimated as 10 years. IWME project is one of the important means of providing electricity service in rural areas of Nepal.