Lishui: Small hydropower, greener energy and a more sustainable solution
“Lucid water and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” Policymakers in China embedded this idea into national development policy in 2017. Four years later, Lishui, a city located at the Yangtze river delta and the Southwest of Zhejiang Province, has proved that turning lucid water into invaluable assets is much more than an idea. Lishui has been widely implementing small hydropower projects in the region bringing a sustainable future to the city.
From 19 to 23 April 2021, at the invitation of the International Center on Small Hydro Power (ICSHP), the representative of the Cities Project of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) visited Lishui with the ICSHP representative to identify good local practices of renewable energy development and seek synergies. Three counties were visited in Lishui city — Suichang, Songyang and Jingning, to learn about their experiences and local good practices in developing small hydropower stations, aiming to bridge possible partnerships between Lishui and other partner cities.
In many remote areas, small hydropower is an important power source that has been providing people more than just affordable and accessible electricity. It has a transformative impact on the quality of life, access to key facilities, livelihood and environmental protection. In Lishui, small hydropower has become a featured industry, enriching economic and cultural activities and maintaining local ecology. Approximately 1,500 km of road in Lishui has been constructed with the support of small hydropower plants.
The Cities Project assessed that, based on various surveys conducted among city partners since 2019, there is interest in learning about good practices in renewable energy. Recently, the project launched a South-South Cities Cluster in renewable energy. In addition, the project will facilitate sharing of knowledge and good practices of Luishi for building small hydropower stations in other cities in developing countries.
Hunan’s experience in sustainable agriculture practices
Located in central China, Hunan province is well-known for its long history, booming creative industry and flavorful local cuisines. In the past few decades, the Hunan province has made substantial progress in sustainable agriculture development and has been home to the scientific-research center of hybrid rice that was headed by the “father of hybrid rice” of great renown, Mr. Yuan Longping. Changsha, Hunan’s capital city, expressed interest in exploring collaboration with city partners from other developing countries through UNOSSC’s SSTC Cities Project network.
The Foreign Science and Technology Exchange Center (FSTEC) of Hunan Provincial and the Hunan provincial Foreign Affairs Office hosted the exchange with representatives from UNOSSC Cities Project and Global South-South Development Center (GSSDC) from 11-23 May, 2021. Representatives and experts from Hunan Agricultural University (HUNAU), Hunan Academy of Forestry and Hunan Academy of Agriculture Science were invited to join the exchange.
Mr. Liu Wenyu, Deputy Director of FSTEC, highlighted Hunan province’s long history of technical cooperation in hybrid rice, small hydropower, wind power, heavy metal pollution prevention and control, and featured industries with other developing countries. FSTEC and Cities Project team have been exploring potential collaboration between Hunan and Koidu City of Sierra Leone on restoring post-mining soil for agricultural use following needs assessment and demands expressed by local authorities.