Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Micro Hydropower in Nepal

Rebecca L Kneath*, Sam Williamson, Colin Nolden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review

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In Nepal, Micro Hydropower Plants (MHP) are used to provide electricity to the local communities across Nepal typically using run-of-river dams which generate up to 100 kW of electricity. There is a current assumption that these MHP have a negligible environmental impact, which is partly due to the lack of literature researching this topic. Therefore, it is crucial to question this assumption, assessing the environmental impacts of MHP. This paper focuses on reviewing in-situ methods and remote methods for suitability for application in Nepal to determine if MHP have a negative environmental impact. Four case studies were carried out in the UK using RIVERCONN to evaluate its applicability in Nepal. RIVERCONN assesses the amount of river fragmentation within a basin using spatial data. It was determined that RIVERCONN was suitable as the data required is easily accessible and it provides an overview of the river connectivity at a basin scale where other methods are specific to individual MHP. This paper concludes future research should focus on implementing remote methods such as RIVERCONN and in-situ methods such as sampling and analysis to evaluate whether MHPs have an impact on the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2023
Event18th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 24 Sept 202329 Sept 2023


Conference18th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Abbreviated titleSDEWES
Internet address


  • Micro-hydropower
  • Run-of-River
  • Nepal
  • Environmental impacts
  • River Connectivity


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