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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8037892, 12 pages
Research Article

Techno-Economic Feasibility of Small Scale Hydropower in Ethiopia: The Case of the Kulfo River, in Southern Ethiopia

1Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Arba Minch University, P.O. Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
2University of Kassel, Mönchebergstraße 19, 34109 Kassel, Germany

Received 1 August 2015; Revised 20 October 2015; Accepted 16 November 2015

Academic Editor: Shuhui Li

Copyright © 2016 Zelalem Girma. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents the technical and economic feasibility of grid connected small scale hydropower construction in selected site of the Kulfo River in southern Ethiopia. In doing so the paper presents the general overview of Ethiopia electric power situation; small scale hydropower situation and barriers and drivers for its development; site assessment and cost estimation methods and at the end presents techno-economic analysis of small scale hydropower development on the Kulfo River in southern Ethiopia. The technical and economic feasibility of the site have been studied by using HOMER, RETscreen, and SMART Mini-IDRO software. The result of simulation shows that the construction of small scale hydropower in the Kulfo River is technically and economically feasible with total net present cost of 13,345,150, cost of energy 0.028/kWh, simple payback period of 12.4 year, and internal rate of return 12.9%. The result also shows that construction of hydropower curtails greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide by 96,685,45 kg/year, sulfur dioxide by 4,1917 kg/year, and nitrogen dioxide by 20,500 kg/year.