Feasibility Study of Small Hydro/PV/Wind Hybrid System for off Grid Rural Electrification in Ethiopia

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Ethiopia is among the least developed countries on the globe with a total access to electricity not exceeding 16% (in 2007). About 85% of the population lives in places where access to electricity is less than 2%. One such a place, which is the subject of this study, is the Dejen district (10013 24.03 N, 38007 58 E) having a total population of 107710 within 23 villages. About 14 villages (corresponding to 63000 people) are found in the upper Blue Nile river gorge and far remote areas, which makes the task of their electrification via grid system very difficult. Kerosene for lighting, diesel for milling and pumping, biomass for cooking and dry cells for radio are being used in the non-electrified villages. Nothing has been done so far in developing the renewable energy resources, such as small-scale hydro, solar, and wind energy in the district. In this work, feasibility of small-scale hydro/PV/wind based hybrid electric supply system to the district is studied using HOMER (Hybrid Optimization Model for Electrical Renewables) software as optimization and sensitivity analysis tool. Six sites (two on Taba stream, one on Bechet stream, two on Muga stream and one on Suha stream) with smallscale hydropower potentials have been identified. The hydro potentials are analyzed with the help of GIS (Geographical Information System) and data obtained from the Ministry of Water Resource of Ethiopia (former). Meteorological data from National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia and other sources, such as NASA, is used for the estimation of solar and wind energy potentials. Electric load for the basic needs of the community, such as, for lighting, radio, television, electric baker, water pumps and flour mills, is estimated. Primary schools and health posts are also considered for the community. Since HOMER can’t handle six hydro resources at a time, the total load is shared to each of the six sites and analysed separately. As a result, many feasible hybrid system combinations are found having a cost of energy less than $0.156/kWh which is much lower than diesel generators and previously studied PV/Wind hybrid systems. Key words: Small Hydropower, Wind, Solar, Hybrid, HOMER, GIS, Catchment Area, Load Estimation



Small Hydropower, Wind, Solar, Hybrid, HOMER, GIS, Catchment Area, Load Estimation