Renewable Energies: Timor-Leste invests on Micro Hydropower
Paralleled to the development of biogas and biofuel, the Government is carrying out the program for the installation of hydro power plants, that started, in 2009, with the construction of the Loihuno power plant, inaugurated last June by the Prime Minister. This power plant produces 12 kilowatts per day, supplying 140 families. Another hydro power plant is in construction in Ainaro, with a capacity of 28 kilowatts per day, sufficient to supply 250 families.
For wind and hydro power plant, the Government predicts the establishment of hybrid systems. “In the rainy season, when there is a lot of water, the production capacity is sufficient to use the hydro turbines. When there isn’t rain the fuel or biogas generators can be used, guaranteeing energy sustainability for the community”, explains the Secretary of State for Energy Policy, Avelino Coelho.
For the micro hydros the objective is to implement the same system that exists for biogas and biofuel, that is, the community must guarantee the production of energy necessary for their local necessities, and if possible, sell the excess for the national electric network.
The Basic Law for the Renewable Energies, that the Secretariat of State for Energy Policy is currently drafting, intends to establish a production limit of two kilowatts. Avelino Coelho, ensures that “there will not be a line of credit for public and private companies. The energy produced by community electrical power plants will only be for the community’s consumption and the excess will be sold to the national network”. The Government’s objective is that the community power plants have energy self-sufficiency and can produce an economic income in a way that can help the most remote populations to develop their economy.
In Loihuno and Ainaro projects of this nature are being implemented. The State financed the construction of power plants and guarantees the assistance in the establishment of management competencies, all this with the active participation of the community. After the community power plant is concluded, the Secretariat of State for Energy Policy makes an agreement with the Suco Chief, that is the highest responsible person for the project, transferring the power plant property title to the Suco. A local management body is created that decides who will benefit from free energy transferences or how much each family must contribute for the energy consumption.