Mini-Hydro River Generator
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Small hydro power stations, by their very nature of being widely disbursed can be part of the solution to meeting the modern energy needs of Zambia especially in rural areas whithout grid connection. It is a huge chance for Zambia to develop those small hydros especially for rural areas, which have historically been neglected in development and planning.
There is plenty of mini hydro power in eastern and southern Africa – especially in Zambia – where availability of adequate rainfall and relief creates the basic natural potential for exploitation of cheap hydropower. Therefore small and mini hydro resources can be a major source of renewable energy with potential to transform electricity to a large number of people in rural areas. Greenfields product range will consider all resources where a free flow is guaranteed and where damming is not to be done. Hydropower, being a function of altitude and volume of water that can be used in these dedicated areas.
The standard classification of small or mini hydro resources will be done according the relative sizes of their hydro potential. A range of various classes of hydropower is:
- Pico hydro at less than 5 kWe
- Micro hydro ranging from above 5 kWe to 100 kWe
- Mini hydro from above 100 kWe to less than 1 MWe
- The small hydro power plants range from 1 to 30 MWe.
- Anything above this is considered large scale.
It is estimated that the African continent holds 10% of the worlds hydro potential energy at 1100 tWh most of it in Congo Zaire basin, Zambezi, the Nile, Ruvuma and Rufiji and thousands of smaller streams running down the ranges and mountains. It is estimated that Zaire drainage basin alone holds over 90% of the Africa hydro potential.
These huge resource are often concentrated in countries
where peoples poorly served with electricity.
Why not using this potential?
The rural areas are have generally been neglected with connection to the national grid averaging more averaging less than 4 % while urban areas average 40%. The low rates of connection are a source frustration for many waiting to be connected to national grids.