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China signs hydropower agreement with UN

By Hou Liqiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-04-26 17:55

China's top water resources and standardization administration authorities on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The memorandum deals with an international standard for small hydropower (SHP) development, and was signed on the sidelines of the ongoing second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The standard will help China contribute more of its wisdom and rich experiences in SHP development to the world, especially the Belt and Road countries, according to a Ministry of Water Resources press release.

By the end of 2018 China had built in rural areas 46,500 SHP stations, which annually generate more than 230 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

Thanks to this development more than 300 million rural residents have gained access to electricity and have seen their infrastructure conditions improved with accelerated poverty alleviation, according to the ministry.

It said the country has accumulated rich experiences in the construction of these stations and has developed a complete standard system on planning, designing, construction and management.

The ministry and its affiliated institutes have carried out fruitful cooperation with UNIDO on clean and renewable energies and small hydropower development, according to the release.

Some of these projects – including the SHP Lighting-up Rural Africa initiative and China's National SHP Capacity Expansion Project – have not only promoted green SHP development, but have also contributed to sustainable development of the economies and societies of developing countries, the release said.

With small investment and short construction time, SHP stations play an important role in addressing power shortages, promoting social and economic development in rural areas, and also in poverty alleviation.

While enhancing SHP development capability in developing countries, and also green SHP development globally, the draft and implementation of an international SHP standard will also help promote the application of Chinese SHP technologies and experience, it said.

It will also create favorable conditions for the Chinese SHP sector's overseas investments and facilitate its participation in industrial cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the release.

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