Optimization of Small Hydropower in The Abbay Basin

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Addis Ababa University


Although Ethiopia possesses a huge hydropower potential, the energy problem in the country is enormous. A great majority of the population in Ethiopia are dependent on traditional resources to fulfill their energy needs. Due to the poor energy supply, the people not only have to put up with an unattractive living environment but also suffer the consequences of climatic change caused by the associated environmental impacts. Numerous villages do not get electricity supply due to the scattered nature of the settlements. Therefore, the energy policy should give enough attention to decentralized systems in which small hydropower potential plays a significant role. This study considers some of the small hydropower sites in the Abbay basin and that the selection of optimum sites or the optimum level of development at the sites can be undertaken with the application of non-linear optimization techniques. The optimization has been conducted on the basis of four theoretical small hydropower systems established in the Abbay basin. Among these four, the two systems consisted of two hydropower alternatives each and the other two consisted of three hydropower alternatives each. In this thesis, Microsoft Excel 2000 solver, which uses the Generalized Reduced Gradient(GRG2) algorithm for optimizing nonlinear problems has been used. Using this optimization technique, the level of development of each of the hydropower sites has been determined. The method can also be used to select the optimum small hydropower site(s) from a number of alternatives. Further study for optimization can be conducted on renewable hybrid systems combining a decentralized energy sources for rural electrification.