China's small hydropower and its dispatching management

Chuntian Cheng, Benxi Liu, Kwok Wing Chau, Gang Li, Shengli Liao

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


With a huge energy demand, the small hydropower (SHP) has undertaken a rapid development in the past six decades in China. Especially in the recent three decades, the increasing environmental pressure has promoted its development rate and the significance of its management and operation. The number of SHP stations in China has exceeded 45,000 with a total installed capacity of more than 68 GW, ranked the first in the world. SHP provides approximately 5% of China's gross electricity generation and is the major backbone for rural electrification. However, how to manage and operate SHP effectively is still a difficult problem in China. In this paper, the current status of SHP in China is investigated. A special emphasis is given to their dispatching management. The southwestern province of Yunnan, ranked second in exploitable potential and first in established capacity of SHP in China, is taken as a typical example for the management and operation of SHP. The difficulties and challenges of management and operation of SHP in Yunnan province are depicted. A case system for the SHP management in Yunnan is introduced in details. It is believed that the system should be beneficial for regions with rich SHP resources in China and elsewhere as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Dispatching management
  • Large-scale
  • Small hydropower
  • Yunnan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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