Practical Action, founded in 1966, is working in Peru's eastern Andes where 68 per cent of the population - around 5 million people - do not have access to electricity. The project makes use of the region's vast potential for hydroelectricity: to date, 47 micro-hydro schemes have been installed in the area through Practical Action, bringing clean power to about 30,000 people.
Through this project, Practical Action is also boosting local industry, as most of the turbines are manufactured by small companies in Peru to Practical Action designs - with each company making three or four turbines a year. Practical Action says it sees local manufacture as a key step towards widespread use of renewable energy.
The electricity supply is boosting the development of the remote communities. Previously, people moved away to start businesses in places where the infrastructure was better, but the electricity from the micro-hydro schemes has brought them back. Some villages have doubled in size, with people returning and others starting or expanding businesses including restaurants, bakeries, furniture makers, welders and internet cafes.