Long Lawen, Borneo

July 2001

Conservation benefit: Reduction of diesel pollution

Community benefit: Micro-hydro energy system

The village of Long Lawen is located in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is home to the oldest, most biologically diverse tropical rainforests on earth. Like many remote island villages, Long Lawen depends primarily on diesel generators to provide electricity. Diesel fuel is expensive and noisy; it pollutes the air and is extremely inconvenient to obtain.

Seacology has provided funding to the Borneo Project, in cooperation with the nonprofit Green Empowerment, so Long Lawen can use micro-hydro technology. This technology generates electricity by harnessing the power of small streams that have significant vertical drop. Because the equipment is small-scale, electricity is produced with benign environmental impacts. The micro-hydro project at Long Lawen is providing 12 kilowatts of electricity 24 hours a day, lighting a school and a local clinic, and powering a refrigerator for medicines. It will save the community thousands of dollars annually in diesel fuel costs and will serve as a model for many other island villages.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
March 2015
According to Gabriel Wynn, Green Empowerment's Borneo program manager, as of last year the micro-hydro installation in Long Lawen "continues to be one of the best examples of community management,...
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July 2004
The micro-hydro system continues to provide clean, quiet and renewable electricity for lights, small appliances and agricultural processing for the villagers of Long Lawen. The system is in solid...
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