On April 22, 2010, sponsored by the Hydro Power Committee of Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society, the Small Hydro Power Committee of Chinese Hydroelectric Engineering Society and the International Network on Small Hydro Power, the National Institute of Rural Electrification and the International Centre on Small Hydro Power co-organized the first "China Forum on Small Hydro Power" with "small water and ecological civilization" as the theme in Hangzhou. H.E. Hu Siyi, Vice Minister of Water Resources, attended the forum and delivered a speech; Mr. Tian Zhongxing, Director of Rural Hydro Power and Electrification Development Bureau under the Ministry of Water Resources, chaired the forum.
Mr. Hu pointed out in his speech that hydropower development has an important strategic position in energy supply security and the achievement of emission reduction targets. China's fossil fuel shortage and the increasing energy demand for socio-economic development makes energy conservation a very arduous task. However, China is rich in hydropower resources, with technical potential of 542 million kilowatts; only 36% is tapped at present. China’s technical potential for rural hydropower reaches 128 million kilowatts. 45 000 small hydropower stations have now been built with installed capacity of more than 5400 million kilowatts, annual energy output of more than 1600 billion kWh, accounting for about 30 % of China's hydropower installed capacity and annual power generation. Over the years, through the development of small hydropower, half of the land area, one third of the counties, over 300 million rural inhabitants have been given access to electricity. Small hydro power not only has played an important role in raising rural electrification levels, promoting rural economic and social development, improving farmers production and living conditions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and power systems disasters, but also has won a good reputation in hydro power generation, forest protection, and ecological civilization building. It has become associated with beautiful mountain scenery in rural areas, a flowing scroll, a flying flag, a business card to the outside world.
Mr. Tian Zhongxing, Director of Rural Hydro Power and Electrification Development Bureau under the Ministry of Water Resources, gave a keynote speech entitled "The New Mission of Small Hydro Power". The leaders from the Water Resources Department of Zhejiang Province, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, China Society for Hydropower Engineering, Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society and the International Network on Small Hydro Power delivered speeches during the opening ceremony. The Forum awarded the Best Paper Award to winners, and representatives discussed topics such as "green low-carbon energy strategy and accelerated hydropower development", "old power plant renovation to bring a new boost to rural hydropower development", "Hydropower and CO2 emissions".
During the forum, the INSHP 2010 Chinese Membership Annual Meeting was also held. The former China Information Network of Rural electrification was incorporated into INSHP. Involving more than 70 countries and regions, the total number of members increased from the original 330 to over 380 at present.