Run of river hydro project in China


Provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guizhou, China


Small run-of-river grouped hydro




Verified Carbon Standard
Social Carbon


Project Profile

Run of river hydro project in China

Low-impact hydro project provides multiple benefits in rural China

This bundle of almost 100 small and micro hydro plants provides China’s rural and mountainous southwest with emission-free energy. Without the need for a retaining dam, the plants use natural height differences to generate sustainable power. This allows the projects to avoid a number of issues associated with dam construction, including flooding, resettlement, environmental impacts on river plants and animals.

Until recently, light and heat for homes in this rural region came from burning wood (which lead to deforestation and soil erosion) or from dirty and inefficient diesel generators. Now, the use of locally produced renewable energy allows for sustainable development without emissions harmful to people and planet. The emission reductions result from the replacement of carbon-intensive coal power – still common in China – with clean hydro power.

Environmental and Social Benefits

The project also brings additional benefits to local communities, including:

+ The creation of new jobs for local residents, many of whom are ethnic minorities. These jobs have been in both construction and maintenance, with training on the job and healthcare benefits above local standards.   

+ Providing local farmers with new irrigation opportunities and training in new skills such as tree grafting.

+ Improvements to local roads, reducing travel time and effort to local and regional cities.  

+ Reducing the incidence of respiratory disease in the local population as families transition to clean energy and away from using open fireplaces for cooking and heating.

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