Projects will demonstrate innovative hydropower equipment exploiting unexplored small-scale hydropower potential in Central Asia up to 10 MW installed capacity by means of sustainable and cost-effective small-scale hydropower solutions. The demonstration will provide solutions for realising innovative and sustainable hydropower, based on synergies between innovative European hydropower technology, research and industry partners, and the Central Asian hydropower sector. Therefore, the demonstration activities shall take place in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan), with participation of local partners[[Roles of local partners can include for example innovation activities, involvement of communities, dissemination, sustainability assessment etc.]].
The project should also fulfil the highest standard in terms of socio-economic and environmental sustainability and impact, and engagement of local civil society. It should also demonstrate how it will contribute positively to the regional cross-border Water/Food/Energy/Climate nexus and refer to embedded sustainable hydropower auxiliary services.
Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL 6-7 to 7-8 (please see part G of the General Annexes).
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 to 10 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The challenge is to demonstrate innovative solutions targeting unexploited small-scale hydropower potential in Central Asia that will contribute to solve the particular cross-border water and energy management challenges in the region. Therefore, the hydropower technological solutions will need to be socio-economically and environmentally sustainable and embedded in a forward-looking cross-border Water/Food/Energy/Climate nexus concept for this region.
The action is expected to support the competitiveness of the European hydropower technology sector as a responsible actor in global markets in the long-term, with a strong focus on overall sustainability of the provided hydropower solutions within the Water/Food/Energy/Climate nexus in Central Asia. The expected outcomes will strengthen the worldwide leadership of the European hydropower industry in providing innovative and sustainable hydropower solutions and will support international cooperation with developing countries. Expected are outcomes which are in line with UN sustainable development goals