Micro hydro Power Projects (MHPPs) have been receiving increasing attention in the face of the growing energy demands and the high proportion of population living without grid access in Pakistan. The government has initiated a project to install 356 MHPPs in the province in 2014, which has now been extended to 1200 such projects. Unfortunately a number of these MHPPs have not been able to produce the desired results, some failing to start generation and some despite producing electricity not bringing the social, environmental and economic changes that are ideally the outcome of such projects. This paper proposes a new quantitative sustainability model specifically designed for the peculiar socio-economic and cultural dynamics of the northern areas of Pakistan. Rooted in sixty one sustainability assessment indicators across four dimensions and twenty one sub dimension and especially minted for the socioeconomic conditions of the region, the model is meant for assessment of the sustainability of an MHPP. The indicators are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 as per the International Hydropower Association (IHA)’s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), the overall dimension score is aggregated from the individual indicators and sub-dimensional weightages. The end output of the model is a dimension score ranging from 1 to 5. In the case study the model was applied to the MHP project installed in the Kalam Valley of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and achieved scores indicative of basic good practices of sustainability along the social, economic, technical, and environmental lines. The quantification of sustainability assessment of the MHP projects would pave wave for informed and evidence based decision-making process for the future MHP projects installed in the region. The model, albeit designed for the KP region, can be tweaked for MHPPs of any socioeconomic region by adjusting the weightages of the indicators and subdimension as per the peculiarities of that region.
Salman Sarwar Abdul Basit Ahmad “Sustainability Assessment of Micro-Hydropower Projects” International Journal of Engineering Works Vol. 8 Issue 04 PP. 126-131 April 2021 https://doi.org/10.34259/ijew.21.804126131.
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