As a sustainable and source of generating electricity, hydropower has proven to be an efficient and cost effective means to provide remote areas with modern energy services and to be an environmentally friendly alternative to the widespread use of diesel generators.
In the ASEAN region, a significant number of public and private actors is already engaged in RE issues and in hydropower in particular. However, the practical link between the many actors involved in this sector – such as engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, consultants, educational institutions, associations, research institutions, operators and managers of mini hydropower (MHP) plants, decision-makers and investors – has not been established yet.
In addition, various MHP actors from other developing and emerging countries (particularly African and Asian countries) share a common interest for greater south-south cooperation in the MHP sector.
In sum, there is a considerable and growing demand to develop and distribute the existing know-how about the use of small-scale hydropower and sustain networking in order to further develop this market in the countries of the ASEAN region, as well as in other countries worldwide.
Against this background and in order to meet those needs at the national and international level, the ASEAN Hydropower Competence Centre (HYCOM) was established, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in the region.
HYCOM is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2011.
The decision to set up HYCOM in Bandung, Indonesia
Since two decades, Bandung has proven to be a centre for high level MHP expertise. To date, approximately 350 specialized engineers, technicians and project developers earn their living exclusively from the MHP sector. This represents a considerable accumulated experience in all aspects of building and operating MHP plants.
The electro-mechanical MHP equipment of more than 400 micro and mini hydro power plants was produced in Bandung in the last 10 years. Turbines and control systems from Bandung were installed throughout Indonesia and exported to more than a dozen countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, namely Cameroon, Ethiopia, Germany, Great Britain, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Switzerland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire.
Based on this experience, trainings for the MHP sector on national and international levels have a long tradition in Bandung. Between 2005 and 2009, several in-depth training courses, seminars and study tours have been conducted for engineers, technicians and other MHP-related professionals from the ASEAN region as well as from Ethiopia, Nepal and Pakistan.
Last but not least, the recognised expertise and knowledge capital of the implementing partners PT Entec Indonesia and the Technical Education Development Centre Bandung (TEDC) in the MHP sector was a decisive factor in the choice to establish HYCOM in Bandung. While PT Entec Indonesia has a strong record in providing consulting and engineering services in the small-scale hydropower sector worldwide, TEDC is a well-established education facility offering high standard vocational training.