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  Pico-hydro Project 

Who is involved / impacted? The Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics (IIEE) and the People Centered Economic and Business Institute (IBEKA) have joined forces to create ARSINDO, a social enterprise seeking solutions for rural electrification and poverty through pico-hydro turbines. While the turbines are miniscule compared to massive hydro projects around the world such as the Three Gorges Dam in China and the Hoover Dam in the US, they still make a small contribution to environmental security that is essential for a greener tomorrow. Even 500 watts of energy created through hydro power rather than petroleum makes a difference. The local people also have an improved quality of life, including access to modern technology that was not possible before electrification. This change improves the local economy, which can then snowball to affect the region, nation and world.

What is it? ARSINDO provides a way for the nearly 30% of Indonesians without electricity to access sustainable, renewable energy from the earth. By combining clean technology with the people who need it most, ARSINDO has created a platform to reach rural villages.

Where is the project site? The first location for the pico-hydro plant is in the western part of the island of Java. We predict that within the next five years there will be at least ten regional energy plans around Indonesia (at the provincial/regional/municipal levels) focused on implementing micro and pico hydro technology.

When will the project be completed? The project will continue as long as there is demand and funding. The first Pico-project was completed in fall 2010. By 2015 we hope that 10 more projects will have been completed.

Why is this important? The environment is fundamental to human life. But oil dependence had led to extreme environmental degradation and economic tension. Some of the world’s largest rainforests are located in Indonesia, and are being decimated by the search for oil and lumber. The Pico Project is a sustainable project that takes energy from the forest without destroying it. It can be replicated and magnified to supply electricity to people around the globe. In today’s interconnected world, even small actions have big repercussions. The developed world has the capability to change the fate of the environment, and it is high time to utilize this knowledge to help others.

How does it work? The Pico Project uses the Super KUNANG turbine, which uses the natural flow of water to move a turbine, thus transferring electrons and creating electricity. The turbine is downhill from where the water is collected, and the water rushes down the hill in a tube, gathering speed as it moves into the turbine. The maximum wattage for this particular turbine 5 1/s. The water moves the turbine, where copper coils are stimulated and attract a positive charge in the metal structure. This charge should be roughly the 500 watt desired output. The electricity generated can be used to power homes, shops, and small farming operations, as well as a myriad of household appliances. The electricity is especially beneficial to small businesses that can now more efficiently run their machines (ie grinders, saws), and increase profits. Every community can individually determine how to best use the power generated.

Documentation of Pico-hydro Installation by IIEE:

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