The International Center on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP) is a direct result of close collaboration between the United Nations and China. In 1992 a proposal to popularize and internationalize Chinese small hydropower (SHP) experience was made by UNIDO. Co-sponsored by United Nations Organizations (UNDP and UNIDO) and the Chinese government, ICSHP was officially created in 1994.
The building for ICSHP was constructed and inaugurated for use in 1998. ICSHP headquarters overlook the famous West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Approval from the State Council of China in 1999 made ICSHP the first international institution to be established in China. The following year, the legal status of the ICSHP was approved by the State Council and, with an official Trust Fund agreement between the government of China and UNIDO, ICSHP came directly under the auspices of UNIDO.
Since its establishment in 1994, ICSHP has trained over 750 engineers from 55 countries, provided technical consultations, feasibility studies, design, equipment supply and installation on SHP in over 50 developing countries. Furthermore, it has organized more than 50 international conferences/workshops both in China and abroad, and successfully compiled the first SHP Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in China.
ICSHP established four pilot bases on SHP in Hunan, Gansu and Zhejiang provinces in China, and three Sub-centers in India, Nigeria and Columbia.
Through South-South cooperation activities, China’s practice and experience in SHP have been widely disseminated worldwide.