Small-scale hydropower is not extensively exploited in Central Asia despite considerable potential to satisfy unmet electricity demand and chart a new way forward in cooperative cross-sectoral management of shared waters.
The Hydro4U project will adapt European technologies to Central Asia, demonstrating viability in a forward-looking cross-border water-food-energy-climate nexus. Price-competitiveness will be assured through design alterations based on a prior analysis of unexploited sustainable small-scale hydropower potential in Central Asia. Hydro4U will install and assess two demo plants: an eco-friendly low-head run-of-river plant and a medium-head plant, both with radically reduced planning and construction costs that do not compromise efficiency. These solutions will be fit-for-purpose based on innovation, modularisation, meaning a radically simplified structural concept, with longevity, eco-compatibility and socio-political acceptance.
Replication in Central Asia
A replication model will be developed to address all small-scale hydropower potential in Central Asia. This will demonstrate EU quality standards and create entry points in developing markets for the entire European small-scale hydropower industry. This will be supported by a Web-based Decision Support System for a sustainable exploitation of the hidden small hydropower potential in Central Asia in order to generate impact beyond the project.
Hydro4U brings together industry, politics, science and stakeholders from both Central Asia and the European Union with the aim of contributing to a sustainable and climate-resilient future for the region by demonstrating European small hydropower equipment and technologies. Close cooperation with hydropower actors and investors from both regions are an essential part of Hydro4U.