Our results show that installation of MHP facilities can provide stable electricity for tens to hundreds of residents in local communities along the rivers. However, the results are based on the existing infrastructure, such as roads and electric lines. This means that greater potential is expected if additional infrastructures are built to develop further MHP facilities. On the other hand, in Japan, river laws and irrigation right regulations currently restrict new entry by actors to rivers. Therefore, to further develop MHP, deregulation of the existing laws relevant to rivers and further incentives for business owners of MHP facilities, along with the current feed-in tariffs, are required. Meanwhile, possible influences to riverine ecosystems when installing new MHP facilities should also be taken into account.
The paper is part of the special issue of the Journal of Hydrology.