Angie Choi,∗ Delaney Ford,† Marissa LaFave,‡ Alec Nakamura,§ and Nick O’Connor¶ Boston University College of Arts and Sciences (Dated: April 3, 2014)
Hydropower has many applications are a clean and cheap way to efficiently bring power to devel- oping countries. The use of small hydro, specifically both micro and pico hydro, can power a small village or group of houses with little to no environmental impact. Systems have been successfully implemented in both Brazil and other developing countries. The social and geographic character- istics of this region make it a perfect place to implement policy regarding the integration of small hydro into the rural setting. The first segment of this report will seek to outline the historical implications of small hydro power, define relevant terms and theory, while also giving a geographic and cultural outline of Brazil in a historical context. The second part of this report will investigate the current state of hydropower projects in Brazil, as well as current social, political, environmental, and economic trends associated with this technology.
List of Figures 1
I. Current Considerations 1 A. Small Hydropower Projects 1 1. CRELUZ Hydropower Projects 1 2. Dual Turbine Proposal 2 B. New Small Hydro Technologies 2 1. Archimedes Screw Turbine 3 2. Other Emerging Technologies 3
LIST OF FIGURES
1 Dam and bridge at Usina Granja Velha built by CRELUZ. ................... 2
2 Proposed small catchment area marked with SC.  ........................... 3
3 Theoretical Pelton runner rated for 100kW applications.  ................. 4
current issues will allow us to for coherent and produc- tive policies regarding hydropower in the third part of this report.
When undertaking a policy discussion such as this, it is both useful and important to consider the current state of economics, social and political climate, technology, and environmental policy and degradation. These factors are essential to building policy for a specific region, in our case Brazil. There is no “one size fits all” solution, thus each country must be looked at individually in its own mi- crocosm. A healthy and expansive knowledge of Brazil’s
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Small Hydropower Projects
Hydropower in Brazil
While CRELUZ does generate a profit every year, members of the co-op decide how this revenue is spent. Most of the money is reinvested in new projects or main- tenance for existing ones. This reinvestment has a direct positive impact on the community members it serves and is a plausible model for future endeavors in providing ac- cessible, cheap hydroelectricity.
All of these projects are designed to have low environ- mental impacts and be sustainable and easy to maintain. Since they are mini-hydro projects, large head heights (and thus large dams) are not required . Most of these 6 turbine projects favor weirs over dams which cause much less...