Archive for 4.3 Additional reports from civil society organizations

Averting a Nightmare on the Nu

Once-defeated plans to build a cascade of dams on China’s Nu River are regaining momentum. Katy Yan took a journey to Yunnan to find out what’s at stake.

4 Hydropower, 4.3 Additional reports from civil society organizations

Interview with Sun and Xu, At fault on the Nu River

As China gears up for a hydropower push in its earthquake-prone south-west, it should pause to consider events in Japan, two geologists tell Liu Jianqiang on World Water Day. With the ongoing crisis at its earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan is paying a heavy price for ignoring “large-scale environmental evaluations”. This is the assessment of two prominent Chinese geologists, Xu Daoyi and Sun Wenpeng, who told chinadialogue that the incident holds important lessons for China.

4 Hydropower, 4.3 Additional reports from civil society organizations

The Reform of the Urban Water Supply in Southern China

This report is not explicitly related to hydroelectric dams, but is an important piece on a related issue: the politics of water more generally. Problems associated with China’s urban water supply before its reform included water shortages, aggravation of water pollution, capital shortage, poor management, poor coverage, and low efficiency of water usage. The Chinese government, together with the support of international agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), assumes that the privatization of water will solve these problems. In late 2002, the Chinese government expressed her full-fledged commitment to private involvement in water management by issuing a document encouraging local authorities to open their water market to private capital and foreign investments. During the following period, we can observe many major movements in the water industry, such as large-scale contracts obtained by transnational water giants like Suez and Veolia, and the rise of local water corporations such as the Beijing Capital Group and Shenzhen Water Group. In the process of reformation, what we have seen is not only the transfer of operating rights or infrastructure from state-owned-enterprises (SOE) to for-profit private companies, we also have observed that water is increasingly being managed according to commercial criteria, which demonstrates the government’s fundamental conceptual change regarding water — from a common good to a trading commodity. It leads us to ask: Who has the control over precious water resources and services? How can we ensure an equitable, as well as a sustainable water use? What are the roles of the government in water supply? And what are the roles and places of people?

4 Hydropower, 4.3 Additional reports from civil society organizations

China and Africa: Small Hydro Power Cooperation

The development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) in China has been a success for rural electrification yet to be replicated in the rest of the world. This paper introduces basic technical, financial and policy principles of SHP and examines the factors behind its success in China, before moving on to examine existing Chinese technology transfer and capacity building activities with the Global South, and African states in particular. The paper includes some observations of how a failure to account for development differences between China and the rest of the world often leads to inappro­priate measures to develop SHP, and suggests several steps which could be taken to promote similarly rapid SHP development in Africa in the coming decades.

4 Hydropower, 4.3 Additional reports from civil society organizations

The International Center on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP), under the auspices of UNIDO, is coordinating a report on the worldwide development status of small hydro power (SHP)

The aim of the report, as a contribution to global renewable energy, is to give a global overview of the status of SHP and thereby inform SHP practitioners, policy- and decision-makers, investors, as well as those interested in clean, renewable and local energy and sustainable development. The idea to compile a comprehensive global report on small hydropower came up, since a lot of scattered information already exists on small hydropower at project, country and regional levels, as well as in different languages; however a comprehensive reference publication for decision-makers, managers and potential investors has been missing. In order to more effectively promote small hydropower (SHP) as a renewable and rural energy source and overcome existing barriers, it is essential to identify its development status in the different regions and engage the stakeholders to share existing information and experiences. Most of the contributions had been submitted by June 2012 and are currently being edited followed by peer-review. The World SHP Development Report will be published and printed with the support of UNIDO and is expected to be available to the public by the end of this year – downloadable from the IC-SHP homepage. The report will include an overview for each region (i.e. Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America); the country status of over 140 countries on SHP development as well as case studies featuring technology, finance options and other topics.

4 Hydropower, 4.3 Additional reports from civil society organizations