Activity in this focus area finished on March 31, 2014.

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To establish regional community system that exits from inducing global warming through introducing micro hydro power

Project Director: Hiroo Komamiya(Chairman of the NPO Renaissance Agency)
Hiroo Komamiya

1. Problematic Points

Even though small hydro-generation is said to have a great potential as an alternative for fossil energy, it has not yet become a common energy source of electricity. There are not enough studies on the processes of implementation and application of small hydro-generation based on the concept of selection and/or systematization as “appropriate technology”. Moreover, although there are distributed energy and bio-resources in the mountainous areas other than small hydraulic power, problems such as depopulation, aging and decline of local jobs are of serious issues in such areas.

2. Hypothesis

If small hydro-generation is attractive enough as sustainable energy in respect of cost and/or environmental effects, farms and mountainous villages can reduce their energy consumption and can achieve self-sustainability which may amount to regional vitalization.

3. Validation Process

First, in this study, we tried to discover the reasons which prevent the spread of implementation of small hydrogenation in the aspects concerning absence of convenient equipment, inconsistency in the legal system and difficulty of consensus formation. We then tried to develop strategies for small hydrogenation to become widely spread in the short run considering the realization of low cost, energy utilization technology, the social system, business models, desirable system of approval and license, methodology towards agreement among interested parties.

4. Achievements

As a result, it became clear that the structure of the subject is constructed of three frameworks; (1) small hydro-generation technology, (2) technologies for electric power usage and (3) approaches for regional vitalization. The social technology in each framework is as follows.
(1)Small hydro-generation technology
- Power control technology for small hydro-generation
- Development of the most diffusible spiral waterwheel in low water head conditions
- Practice of mutual understandings among government agencies, organizations and stakeholders
(2) Technologies for electricity usage
- Cartridge type battery changeable EV as an electricity consumption media
- Formation of new types of local transportation system and human relationship
(3) Approaches towards regional vitalization
- Awareness that anyone can use small hydro-generation and that anyone can be an owner
- Formation of regional initiative activated by a third person settled in the region

Project Participant