In Lao PDR, small hydropower has the potential to be big business. With support from IFC and the Australian government, Lao PDR approved the Regulation on Small Hydropower Development to streamline approvals for projects less than 15 megawatts.
The Jhelum-Poonch Watershed, in South Asia, is home to critically endangered species of fish such as the Golden Mahaseer and the Kashmir Catfish. The basin is also a vast source of hydropower in Pakistan.
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IFC Promotes Sustainability in the Hydropower Sector
In Asia, 700 million people live without electricity. To meet Asia’s growing energy demands, hydropower projects in the Mekong region are developing fast.
In Myanmar alone, hydropower potentials top 100,000 megawatts – the region’s highest. If realized sustainably, the energy produced could benefit 34 million people, or about 66 percent of the population that currently live without access to electricity. This is coupled with Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s energy generation potentials, which could bring electricity to nearly all rural households by 2020, drive business growth, and generate income to reduce poverty.
The challenge, however, is to develop this natural resource sustainably. [read more]