São Paulo, 29 October 2013 - The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), the only international business association focused on the promotion of off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural electrification in developing countries and emerging markets, and the European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA), an EU-level representation and platform of the EU small hydropower sector, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to intensify knowledge-sharing and joint work towards promoting small hydro as a sustainable energy solution in rural areas of developing and emerging markets.

The MOU commits the two organisations to share knowledge and expertise relating to the off-grid sector, utilise and leverage existing resources, collaborate on research and dissemination of good practices, boost joint collaboration with other entities, and provide policy guidance to energy decision-makers in relevant locations.

The MOU was signed at the occasion of the Small Scale Hydropower: Local Solutions to Climate Change and Sustainable Development Conference in São Paulo, Brazil, organised by the Brazilian National Reference Center on Small Hydro Power (CERPCH), the International Centre on Small Hydro Power in Hangzhou, China (IC-SHP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Marcus Wiemann, Secretary General of ARE said “We believe that small hydro has proved to be a reliable renewable energy technology solution for major parts of the 1.3 billion people that still live without electricity. It has already the lowest electricity-generation price over the life-cycle of all off-grid renewable technologies. Add that to its simplicity, long-term reliability and easy maintenance and we have a clear winning solution for rural electrification.”

Dirk Hendricks, Secretary General of ESHA, adds that “the number of potential sites for small hydropower on all continents is huge. To allow communities and investors to use this untapped resource in order to create local jobs and to produce renewable electricity, ESHA calls on governments to create regulatory stability and fair market rules as a prerequisite for high investments and fast development.”

The MOU comes at a time when the small hydro market in developing countries is capturing the attention of many companies, especially considering a shift in investment patterns - away from donor sources to a greater reliability on private firms – and the on-going global power sector restructuring, that is opening up competitive power markets. The world production of energy originating in small hydro is expected to rise from 50GW in 2008 to 110GW in 2015, a market size increase from $14 billion in 2008 to an expected $38.5 billion in 2015. Most of this increase will occur in developing and emerging markets. Even in the EU, the electricity production from small hydropower could be doubled if the current regulatory framework would be improved.


For further information, please contact:

Alexandra Reis Communications Manager, ARE

+32 2 400 10 51 a.reis@ruralelec.org

Martina Steinkusz Project and Communication Manager,

ESHA +32 2 400 10 67 martina.steinkusz@esha.be