"Better Hydro" Shows That Hydropower Can Be Sustainable Too

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — Before they went belly up, the automotive brand Oldsmobile ran a series of TV ads saying, “this is not your father’s Oldsmobile,” trying to shake off the stodgy image that the brand had come to represent.

Small River Hydro Turning the Lights On in Nepal

People living in remote Himalayan villages could potentially be among the last to enjoy the benefits of electricity. The terrain is steep and harsh, and sunshine is fleeting in the deep valleys where most settlements are found. The locations are often extremely difficult to reach. Schools are small and children in Nepal wishing to go past grade 7 must travel to larger cities like Katmandu, from which they seldom return. Resources are scarce, but one thing they have in abundance is plenty of fast-moving water, snow-melt runoff from the greatest mountains in the world.

The non-profit Himalaya Currents, in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), seeing the opportunity, partnered with New Energy Corporation, makers of hydro-kinetic turbines, Advantage Products, and US Synthetic , makers of synthetic diamonds, to develop a clean energy system capable of providing continuous, clean, renewable energy to the villagers. If you're wondering where the diamonds come in, keep reading.

Working together, they installed a 5 kW EnCurrent hydro-kinetic electric power system, submerged in a flume a nearby river, close to the village of Ringmo, high in Nepal's Dolpa region.

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