Langtang Microhydro Electricity Project

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    In Context

    • The Langtang Microhydro Electricity Project was built three years after the 2015 earthquake-avalanche with help from the Hong Kong-based Kadoorie Charitable Foundation. 

    About Langtang Microhydro Project.

    • It costs $530,000 and has a weir and spillway at the moraine, and the water is taken through a fibre glass-insulated penstock pipe to a powerhouse that generates 100kW of electricity.
    • It will be providing 24 hours of electricity to 120 households and tourist lodges in Kyanjin and Langtang.
    • Benefits: 
      • The project is the first-of-its-kind in Nepal to power a village and holds promise for other remote Himalayan valleys where the risk posed by expanding glacial lakes can be mitigated, while at the same time providing electricity to tourism-dependent families.
    • Risk: 
    • The only downside would be that most glacial lakes are at very high elevations where there are few settlements, and also the greater cost of transporting equipment by helicopter.
      •  But if the risk-reduction from glacial lake outburst floods is factored in, these multi-purpose projects would be cost-effective.

    Glacial Lake

    • A glacial lake is a body of water with origins from glacier activity.
    • They are formed when a glacier erodes the land, and then melts, filling the depression created by the glacier.
    • Glacial lakes have been used to generate power in the Peruvian Andes, and in the Swiss Alps, existing reservoirs filled with glacial melt have been generating 4% more electricity because of accelerated melting. 

    Source: DTE