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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Geospatial Assessment of Small-Scale Hydropower Potential in Sub-Saharan Africa

Division of Energy System Analysis, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 11428 Stockholm, Sweden
World Resources Institute, Washington, DC 20002, USA
The World Bank Group, Washington, DC 20433, USA
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
European Union Joint Research Centre (EU-JRC), 21027 Ispra, VA, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3100;
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrical Energy Production in the Water Sector)
Sub-Saharan Africa has been at the epicenter of an ongoing global dialogue around the issue of energy poverty. More than half of the world’s population without access to modern energy services lives there. It also happens to be a sub-continent with plentiful renewable energy resource potential. Hydropower is one of them, and to a large extent it remains untapped. This study focuses on the technical assessment of small-scale hydropower (0.01–10 MW) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The underlying methodology was based on open source geospatial datasets, whose combination allowed a consistent evaluation of 712,615 km of river network spanning over 44 countries. Environmental, topological, and social constraints were included in the form of constraints in the optimization algorithm. The results are presented on a country and power pool basis. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydropower; Sub-Saharan Africa; geographic information systems; electrification hydropower; Sub-Saharan Africa; geographic information systems; electrification
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Korkovelos, A.; Mentis, D.; Siyal, S.H.; Arderne, C.; Rogner, H.; Bazilian, M.; Howells, M.; Beck, H.; De Roo, A. A Geospatial Assessment of Small-Scale Hydropower Potential in Sub-Saharan Africa. Energies 2018, 11, 3100.

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