Advantages of run of river hydropower Projects

Storage plants which utilize dams have implementation problems related to social acceptability because in some cases, entire barangays will be submerged under water for the project. Hence, in the Philippines, run-off-the-river plants are preferred and commonly found in most existing installations because of lesser social-related problems, foremost of which is the resistance of the people.

Enhances the Forest Cover of the Watershed

The Department of Energy (DOE) requires a watershed improvement plan in the final conclusion of the operations contract. Additionally, run of river hydropower developers are intrinsically incentivized to preserve the forest cover in order to maintain both water quality and quantity.

Saving in CO2 Emissions on a Global Scale

Compared to a typical coal or gas power plant, a hydropower plant does not produce CO2 and prevents about 0.60 Kg of CO2 per KW-Hour of generation from entering the atmosphere, thus for One (1) Mega Watt Mini-hydro plant with an annual energy production of 4.4 Million KW-Hour at 50% Plant Factor, the emissions saved, were the energy to come from an equivalent fossil fuel-fed power plant is 4.4 M x 0.60 KG = 2.64 M KG or 2,640 Tons of CO2 per MW. This is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 600 passenger cars.

Savings by the Philippine Government from Importation of Oil

In order to fuel typical gas power plants, the Philippine government imports X amounts of oil a year. A hydropower plant on the hand needs no oil to run and thus saves (0.30 liters of oil / kw-hr) x 4.4 million Kw-hrs. for 1 MW mini-hydro at 50% plant factor = 1.32 million liters of fossil based fuel will be saved or 8,300 barrels. Thus a hydropower plant saves the Philippine government about US$ 500,000 / year / MW worth of oil imports assuming price per barrel is at US$ 60.

Further, government directives under RA 9513 (Energy Act of 2008) provides numerous incentives related to run of river hydropower projects.