Cherie P. Malaggay, Amado P. Imper, Rafael J. Padre
This study was conceptualized to provide baseline data to stakeholders on the impact of small scale renewable energy projects in rural areas particularly to Microhydro Power. It provided evidence of the impact of renewable energy projects to the socio-economic living condition of the populace. Furthermore, it aimed to assess the impact it contributes to the environment. The Study used the qualitative, interactive and adaptive method. The primary data collection were qualitative interviews, document reviews, and observation. The interviews were scheduled and nonstructured in nature, and included members of the general public in the area of micro-hydro projects.
The use of MHP resulted in the decrease of cutting pinewood which is an advantage to the watersheds and have totally replaced kerosene and gasoline/diesel as sources of lighting. The replacement of these fuels have resulted in the reduction of indoor pollution and decrease of greenhouse gas emissions particularly to CO2. Data show that with a total installed output of 76.5 kW in the municipality, it has an equivalent avoided emissions of 455 MT of CO2/yr. Thus for an average of 19 years since the MHPs were installed, the MHPs have contributed a total of 8,645 MT of avoided CO2 emission.
Microhydro power is strongly recommended for rural areas with potential power sources. The peoples organization officers should strictly enforce the policy on the non-payment of tariff or the sustainability of an MHP. Tariff rate must be increased to compensate for the low utilization rate if the MHPs and to self0sustain its operation and maintenance. Moreover the result of the study be forwarded to the respective funding agencies for them to act on the sustainability of the project.
KEYWORDS: Socio-economics, Environmental Impact Assesment, Microhydro projects (MHPs) Balbalan, Kalinga