With the use of small hydropower plants the use of wood and other fuels in china shall be reduced, to create a climate-friendly energy infrastructure. Until 2014 over thousands of small plants in 24 provinces will be installed as fuel substituting hydropower plants (Small Hydropower Substituting Fuel - SHSF). Simultaneously with the energy use of hydropower, there are impacts on the water ecology, channel flow, navigability and aquatic ecosystem, which are considered in china in a low extent. Often these multi-objective problems influence each other. In the BMBF founded German-Chinese research project "HAPPI - Small Hydropower Plants: Assessment of the potential for climate protectionand improvement through intelligent technologies" (BMBF-Funding reference number 02WCL1307), innovations are developed for the design, construction and operation of Small Hydropower Plants (SHPs) with the aim of increasing their efficiency and sustainability. In particular, these are:
Customized methods and models for site assessment and design of energetically optimized hydropower plants with respect to hydrological, hydraulic, social, environmental and economic conditions
Hydrologic modeling of catchment areas for the optimization of the usable energy potential and to identify the optimum small hydropower plant locations
Application of advanced dimensioning methods for optimal design of small hydropower plants
Optimal control of SHP-Cascades, taking into account of different interest groups, development of a Greenhouse gas measurement system
Connecting the financing of SHPs with the emerging Chinese Emission Trade System (CETS)
Integrated planning tool for the overall design and management of cascades of SHPs
On October 22, 2015, Fraunhofer President Prof. Reimund Neugebauer headed a 25-person team to IWHR to communicate on China-Germany water science and technology cooperation, and met with IWHR President Dr. Kuang Shangfu. Xing Yuanyue, consul from the Bureau of Hydropower, China's Ministry of Water Resources, and IWHR Vice President Dr. Jia Jinsheng also attended the meeting.