::Development and Dissemination of Micro Hydro Power Plants::
::A Success Story of PCRET::

Introduction

PCRET is not only the pioneering agency in introducing the Micro Hydro Power Technology in Pakistan but is the National Focal Point for the development and dissemination of renewable energy technologies in Pakistan, especially in the field of development and promotion of mini / micro hydro power plants in isolated / neglected areas of the country. It has been demonstrating and disseminating MHP Technology after indigenization, on micro level in the far-flung, inaccessible and remote hilly areas of the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Gilgit – Baltistan, FATA and AJK since 1976. Over the past so many years PCRET has achieved sufficient experience in utilizing the high-head low-discharge perennial water falls for power generation. 

Focal Point Agency

In pursuance of Rural Electrification Programme of the Federal Govt. the major objective of the MHP Programme has therefore been rural electrification of the areas which are away from the national grid, and where restoration of ecological balance along with protection of environment is imperative.

Credit Performance 

The Council has so far successfully installed 538 decentralized MHP plants with consolidated installed power generation capacity of 8 MW. Out of 538 MHP plans, 152 plants have been installed through launching various PSDP schemes in the off-grid, far-flung and remote areas, while 280 MHP plants have been installed in collaboration with individuals / communities. Whereas 106 plants have been installed in collaboration with various GO’s NGO’s, VBO’s providing technical assistance and post-installation supervision. 

Salient Feature

 One of the remarkable features of PCRET’s MHP Programme is the Community participation in each phase of the project from initiation to implementation stage and subsequent operation and maintenance by forming co-operatives. The expenses incurred on the power distribution system are borne by the local communities / beneficiaries in addition to provision of land and labor for the installation of MHP plants. Moreover, power plants are operated and maintained by the communities themselves through establishment of Local Management Committees. There is therefore no recurring expenditure on the national exchequer. The committee fixes the tariff for the power use and arranges collection of bills. The money so collected is utilized for operation and maintenance of power plants. 

Future Prospects

In view of the tremendous success of PCRET’s MHP scheme a number of GO’s / NOG’s are approaching PCRET for provision of technical assistance to launch MHP Program in the areas where requisite potential exist. The Irrigation Departments Government of Punjab and Sindh intend to install MHP plants at their canal falls at different locations. 

 An experimental pilot project on canal fall has been successfully completed at a site in Mardan whereas another 200 Kw capacity plant is being installed at Khanpur Dam in collaboration with a private power generating party, under Public Private Cooperation Scheme of the Government.

 Moreover, in October 2005 the large earthquake affected area of AJK and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, where basic infrastructure of electricity, road, hospitals, shops and houses etc. was severely damaged called for immediate rehabilitation. PCRET to shoulder Government efforts for rehabilitation of mass destructed / devastated earthquake inaccessible areas of AJK and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa initiated a power project entitled “Provision of Electricity to Earthquake Effected Areas through Installation of 100 Micro Hydropower Plants” with aim behind to provide electricity to the needy.

Socio Economic Impacts

 A gradual change is visible after installation of MHP plants at the affected area. 

i. Less fuel consumption for lighting.
ii. Increase in use of long-range cordless phones for communication.
iii. Every house is equipped with T.V and Dish Satellite receiver. 
iv. Schools / Colleges are equipped with Computer Labs.
v. Micro industry abundance to produce quality furniture and carving panels. 
vi. Cottage industry viz-handy craft, sewing and embroidery on shawl and bedspreads are flourishing and the public living standard is also improved.
vii. Opportunities of additional income sources enhanced.

Fresh Project of PCRET

 Two PSDP Projects mentioned below i.e one to be executed by PCRET and another a joint project of PCRET and Ahga Khan Rural Support Programme are in pipe line, waiting for approval.

1. “Establishment of 80 Mini / Microhydel Plants in Gilgit – Baltistan and Chital and Hydel Technology Development in Pakistan”

2.  “Construction of 86 MHP Plants in Rural Areas of NWFP, FATA and Gilgit – Baltistan for Electrification and Poverty Alleviation”