Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) recently issued draft 'green small hydropower evaluation standards', providing the basic conditions for green SHP evaluation, evaluation content, and evaluation methods for SHP plants below 50 MW. For the last three years the standards have been put into operation (not including pumped storage power stations and tidal power).
The draft report indicates that in order to apply for green small hydropower evaluation the power stations must have already passed project inspection; more significantly, the plant does not cause major environmental or resettlement disputes in the impacted region or cause safety accidents.
The green small hydropower evaluation content includes four categories: environmental, social, management and economic. There are a total of 15 evaluation factors and 20 evaluation standards. Factors considered in the environmental assessment are: hydrological context, water quality, aquatic ecosystem, land ecosystem, energy efficiency and reduced emissions.
Social evaluation criteria consider factors such as immigration and resettlement plans, shared benefits, livelihood improvement projects and utilization of water resources.
Management evaluation criteria look at production and operation management, safety standardization levels, green hydropower construction management, construction and implementation of monitoring facilities, and technological progress including levels of automation. Economic evaluation considers the financial stability including profitability as well as regional economic contribution.
The green SHP evaluation is based on a total score of 100. The assigned score for each evaluation category is as follows: environmental 55 points, social 17 points, management 18 points, and economic 10 points. Once basic conditions are fulfilled, according to the review score received, plants’ green SHP level can be divided into first, second and third class.