Small/Medium scale Hydropower implementation in developing countries: A Rwandan case study.

Small/Medium scale Hydropower implementation in developing countries: A Rwandan case study.
MASTER THESIS
Small/Medium scale Hydropower implementation in
developing countries: A Rwandan case study.
Master Thesis
July 2014
Carlos A. Forero R.
European Joint Masters in
Management and Engineering of Environemtn and Energy
Academic Supervisor: Dr. György Paál
Company Supervisor: Mr. Tom Walsh
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MASTER THESIS
INDEX NOTE
Report Title
Small/Medium scale hydropower implementation in developing
countries: A Rwandan case study.
Curriculum
European Joint Masters in Management and Engineering of
Environment and Energy
Placement Title
Project Associate
Year
2014
Author
Carlos A. Forero R.
Company
Renetech AB
Number of Employees
5
Address
Box 3682, SE-103 59 Stockholm, Sweden
Contact
Phone: +46 704534551
E-mail: [email protected]
Company Supervisor
Mr. Tom Walsh
Function/Position
Chief Executive Officer
Academic Supervisor
Dr. György Paál (BME)
Function/Position
Associate Professor, Department of Hydrodynamic Systems,
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest,
Hungary
Keywords
Small Hydropower, Risk Management, Electrification,
Sustainable development.
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MASTER THESIS
1.
2.
TABLE OF CONTENT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / ABSTRACT .......................................................................... 6
INTRODUCTION, POSITION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT ................................... 6
2.1.
2.2.
2.3.
2.3.1
2.3.2
2.3.3
3.
Introduction ............................................................................................... 6
Position of the project ................................................................................... 7
Objectives of the Thesis ................................................................................ 8
8
8
9
Purpose of the study
Complete Project:
Delimitations
METHODOLOGY ..................................................................................................... 9
General methodology ................................................................................... 9
Project management .................................................................................. 11
4. CONTEXT / BACKGROUND .................................................................................... 12
4.1.
Global Context ......................................................................................... 12
4.2.
African Context: ........................................................................................ 13
4.3.
Rwanda Context ....................................................................................... 14
3.1.
3.2.
4.3.1
4.3.2
4.3.3
4.4.
4.4.1
5.
5.2.1
5.3.
5.3.1
5.3.2
5.3.3
5.4.
18
Hydropower context
Hydropower Basics .................................................................................... 19
Small Hydropower ..................................................................................... 21
21
Turbines Overview
Project Management Theory ......................................................................... 22
23
24
25
Business Model Canvas (BMC)
Risk Management
Project Life Cycle
Hydropower Case Studies ........................................................................... 26
RESULTS & DISCUSSION ...................................................................................... 28
6.1.
6.1.1
6.1.2
6.1.3
6.1.4
6.2.
6.2.1
6.2.2
6.2.3
6.2.4
6.2.5
7.
8.
9.
National Energy Context: ............................................................................. 17
STATE OF THE ART / THEORETICAL BACKGROUND .................................................. 19
5.1.
5.2.
6.
15
16
16
Social
Economic
Political / Institutional:
Project Management .................................................................................. 28
Business Model Canvas of Hydropower Projects in developing countries
SWOT Analysis of Hydropower in East Africa
Risk Identification
Proposed guidelines and recommendations for proper planning of small scale hydro
power projects in developing countries (feasibility phase)
28
29
30
32
Small Scale hydropower case study ................................................................ 38
Preliminary Conceptual design of the plant
Technology and Supplier selection
Financial model
Sensitivity Analysis with Tariff Variation
Environmental and Social impact considerations
39
41
43
44
46
CONCLUSIONS ..................................................................................................... 48
FUTURE WORK .................................................................................................... 49
REFERENCES....................................................................................................... 50
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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Methodology Followed. ....................................................................................................... 9
Figure 2. Electricity access and biomass use. (IEA, 2002). ......................................................... 12
Figure 3. Electrification rates by region (IEA, 2002)...................................................................... 13
Figure 4. Rwanda location in Africa (World Atlas, 2014) .............................................................. 14
Figure 5. Rwanda political map. (source: www.maps.com) (Maps, 2014) ................................ 14
Figure 6. Rwanda's GDP annual growth. (World bank, n.d.) ....................................................... 15
Figure 7. Energy sources in Rwanda. (Safari, 2009) .................................................................... 17
Figure 8. Hydropower development Status in Rwanda. (Mategeko, 2011) ............................... 18
Figure 9. Hydropower growth trend. (Brown, et al., 2011) ........................................................... 19
Figure 10. Run-of-river scheme. (Jorde, et al., 2009) ................................................................... 20
Figure 11. Types of turbines and performance. (Magureanu, et al., 2011) ............................... 22
Figure 12. Business Model Canvas (Ostwewalder & Pigneur, 2009)......................................... 24
Figure 13. Risk related to Project life cycle (Larson & Gray, 2011) ............................................ 24
Figure 14. General Project life cycle (Free Management ebooks, 2013) .................................. 25
Figure 15. Level of effort in project life cycle phases (Larson & Gray, 2011) ............................ 26
Figure 16. Business Model Canvas for Small Hydro Projects in developing countries. .......... 28
Figure 17. SWOT Analysis for small scale hydropower development in East Africa. .............. 29
Figure 18. Turbine selection chart. (Kaltschmitt, et al., 2007) ..................................................... 41
Figure 19. Free cash flow considering Loan. ................................................................................. 43
Figure 20. Free cash flow not considering Loan. ........................................................................... 44
Figure 21. Payback period sensitivity with variation in tariff......................................................... 45
Figure 22. Net present value period sensitivity with variation in tariff......................................... 45
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Rwanda Facts (UN, 2014). ................................................................................................ 14
Table 2. Small hydropower definition by country (IRENA, 2012) ................................................ 21
Table 3. Suppliers technical overview ............................................................................................. 42
Table 4. Input Parameters. ................................................................................................................ 43
Table 5. Published REFIT (Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency, 2011) ................................... 44
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LIST OF ACRONYMS
BMC
Business Model Canvas
B/C
Benefit Cost ratio
FIT
Feed in tariff
GDP
Gross Domestic Product
GoR
Government of Rwanda
IEA
International Energy Agency
IRENA
International Renewable Energy Agency
IRR
Internal rate of return
MDGs
Millennium development goals
NPV
Net Present value
O&M
Operation and Maintenance
PBP
Payback period
PMI
Project Management Institute
PPA
Power purchase agreement
RE
Renewable Energy
REFIT
Renewable energy fit in tariff
RPM
Revolutions per minute
RURA
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency
RW
Rwanda
SHP
Small-Hydropower
UN
United Nations
USD
United States Dollar
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MASTER THESIS
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / ABSTRACT
Small scale hydropower is one of the most cost-effective energy technologies to be
considered for electrification in developing countries. The technology is very robust and
mature so systems can last up to 50 years with little maintenance. Moreover, it has low
environmental impacts and can have a significant benefit if implemented in rural areas for
electricity production, either in on or off grid applications.
The thesis reviews several small scale hydropower projects, in order to identify potential risks
and propose guidelines to help future implementation of this technology in a better way than
the one currently done. An on-going project was taken as a case study to identify different
elements that have to be present in the planning and future development of small scale hydro
projects in developing countries. Technical, managerial, socio-economical and environmental
aspects around the project were analyzed within a sustainability framework.
2. INTRODUCTION, POSITION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
2.1. INTRODUCTION
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world's time-bound and quantified
targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions as formulated by the United
Nations – income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion – while
promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic
human rights-the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and
security (UN, 2014).
Despite the benefits in poverty reduction, these goals do not include specific targets for
access to electricity and do not take into account the crucial role that energy services and
access plays in reaching the MDGs targets.
The world has an opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people by meeting the MDGs
and several strategies had been identified to meet them, emphasizing the need of investment
in health, education, and infrastructure. However, without investment in the energy sector,
the MDGs will not be achieved in the poorest countries. Energy services are essential to both
social and economic development. (Modi, et al., 2005)
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MASTER THESIS
Modern energy services and energy access are crucial to well-being and to the economic
development of a country. However, according to IEA over 1.3 billion people are without
access to electricity and 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities; moreover,
more than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia and 84%
are in rural areas.
The UN has declared 2012 to be the "International Year of Sustainable Energy for all",
increasing the international concern around the energy access issue and looking towards
establishing links between energy access, climate change and development (IEA, 2011). By
scaling up the availability of affordable and sustainable energy services, there is a greater
chance of achieving the MDGs, as energy services have a multiplier effect on health,
education, transportation, safe water and sanitation services, between other issues.
The development and use of renewable energy sources seems to be a good solution for the
energy access issue, however, it cannot be considered the universal remedy for any problem
related to sustainable development as it is far more complex and includes interdependent
and mutually reinforcing aspects; economic, social and environmental sustainability.
As briefly discussed, the world has been and will keep on facing great challenges related to
sustainable development and energy access is one of the drivers for accomplishing the
future development targets. Development of hydropower projects can significantly contribute
to overcome the energy access challenge as it is a mature technology with great potential in
several places around the world.
2.2. POSITION OF THE PROJECT
As presented above, energy is a driver for development and providing energy access in
developing countries is crucial to meet the MDGs and to help them with their sustainable
development.
According to the national energy plan, there is a need of power generation to ensure energy
access in Rwanda. This thesis supports a hydro power project that will contribute with 4.5
MW of power generation to the country under the framework of sustainability. It will also help
to meet energy targets of the country and MDGs, increasing the share of renewables in
power generation (small hydro power), helping the development of local communities by
providing energy access through sustainable solutions (low environmental impact, positive
social impacts during plant operation, economic lift of local communities)
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MASTER THESIS
2.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE THESIS
The thesis is formulated around a small/medium scale hydropower project development in
Rwanda (RW) within the framework of sustainable development. The thesis will focus on
support of the front end engineering phase of a real case hydro project and proposal of
guidelines for proper planning of small hydro projects in developing countries (Feasibility
phase) taking the project as a case study and comparing it with other case studies. The work
covers the feasibility study review, followed by a preliminary conceptual design, selection of
the best available technology and supplier, and a financial model of the project. The socioeconomic development of the project and environmental considerations are also discussed,
as well as the review on permits and agreements. Results will be used for the future
implementation of the hydro energy system. Renetech's know-how, literature review data,
information from local partners and technology suppliers are the primary sources of
information for this thesis.
2.3.1 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Hypothesis: Common failure of small hydro power project development in developing
countries is due to lack of understanding of the importance of the planning phase. Critical
data is not given the proper relevance in the planning phase leading to plant failure or bad
performance in the development and implementation phase.
The academic contribution of the thesis will be related to the identification of risks and
proposal of guidelines and elements to be studied and analyzed in the planning phase of a
small hydro project in developing countries. Project management theory was used for
accomplishing this.
2.3.2 COMPLETE PROJECT:
The whole project will design and implement a small/medium scale hydro energy system that
will be used in a specific high head location to produce 4.5 MW of power and contribute to
the country's power generation and energy vision plan targets towards 2020. A business
case will be produced to show the financial basis for building this plan in Rwanda.
The overall objectives of the whole project include:

Build a 4.5 MW hydro energy system.

Increase access to electricity for enterprises and households.
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MASTER THESIS

Reduce cost of service in the supply of electricity, and introduce cost reflective
electricity tariffs.

Diversify energy supply sources and ensure security of supply.

Strengthen the governance framework and institutional capacity of the energy sector
in the country.

Impulse economic growth and poverty reduction.
2.3.3 DELIMITATIONS
For the future development and implementation of the project is necessary to go through a
process of finding the proper investment/financing. The proper selection of contractor and the
review and further signing of permits and agreements will require some legal assessment
and negotiation between the different stakeholders of the project.
3. METHODOLOGY
3.1. GENERAL METHODOLOGY
The general methodology followed is divided into 6 different tasks. Figure 1 shows a picture
of the methodology followed during the thesis.
T4. Preliminary
Conceptual Design
& Tech. Selection
T5.
Financial Model
T2. Business
Model &
Risk Identification
T3. Proposed
Guidelines for
proper planning
T6. Environmental
& Social
Considerations
T1.
Literature Review
Figure 1. Methodology Followed.
The main tasks established in the methodology were:
Task 1: Literature review, previous case studies, hydro basics, feasibility study review.
The initial step in the development of this work was reviewing all the existing documents
around the project pre-feasibility and feasibility studies done previously. Moreover, a
literature review was performed around hydropower basic theory and equipment, with main
focus on small hydro power development in different parts of the world.
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MASTER THESIS
In parallel, literature review regarding project management theory was also performed.
Previous case studies were selected and reviewed to have a better understanding of the
development of small hydro power projects around the world, with special focus on
developing countries in order to find synergies and helpful information for the development of
the thesis.
Task 2: Business Model and Potential Risk Identification.
A business model and SWOT analysis were used as tools for better understanding the
impact of small hydropower. After the analysis and the review of some case studies and
documents regarding implementation and development of hydro power plants potential risks
were identified and categorized. Literature review on risk management was used for the risk
identification and classification.
Task 3: Creation of guidelines for proper planning of small scale hydro in developing
countries (feasibility phase).
Proposed guidelines and recommendations for proper planning of small hydro projects in
developing countries are developed based on the review of several case studies and
comparison with the current project. Common elements are identified to propose the
guidelines and recommendations. Two on-going projects in the company are been taken as
case studies for the development of the guidelines and analysis of hydropower in East Africa.
Task 4: Preliminary Conceptual design of the plant & Technology and supplier
selection.
After the initial steps and with better understanding of the projects' background and
knowledge acquired from the cases reviewed, the preliminary conceptual design of the plant
was done.
The preliminary conceptual design of the plant includes a description of each one of the
elements of the plant, explaining its role in the plant and preliminary design parameters to
take into account in the next stage. The next stage of the big project will include a detailed
design of the plant but is not part of the scope in this thesis work.
The technology selection phase is based on the preliminary design. Different suppliers are
contacted to verify the proper selection of the equipment and select the best supplier for the
project based on a proposed selection matrix .
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Task 5: Financial Model of the project.
Based on the previous phases of the project (pre-feasibility and feasibility studies) some
figures around the total investment and cost of electricity were obtained. This figures were
used to build up the financial model of the project to verify its profitability. Economic
indicators such as NPV and payback period were used for the financial evaluation of the
project. The model includes a sensitivity analysis based on a variation in the electricity tariff.
Task 6: Environmental and social impact considerations.
Considerations around potential environmental and social impacts coming from the
implementation of the project are considered as well as possible mitigation solutions. This
task only includes a brief assessment on this issues and states both the positive and
negative impacts in the different phases of the project (Construction and future operation). A
complete environmental impact assessment will be performed in a future stage of the project
but is not under the scope of the thesis work.
3.2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The project was proposed and supervised by the company Renetech AB, based in
Stockholm, Sweden. Follow up meetings where carried out every couple weeks to revise and
discuss the progress around the project as well as the new information available coming from
the other parties. There are different parties involved around the planning and future
implementation of the project, therefore, some meetings were carried out internally in the
company and others with members of the different parties involved.
Renetech's mission to be a sustainable and environmentally adapted producer of renewable
energy; vehicle fuel, electricity, heat and biogas, through solutions for waste and biomass
management. Renetech’s business focus is bioresource recovery of energy and by-products
(eg. nutrients) from a variety of biomass materials including organic residues and waste
streams. Renetech has been working on project development, research and consultancy
projects in large and small scale renewable energy projects, mostly in the EU and East
Africa. Renetech develops projects in collaboration with technology providers, contractors,
equity partners and local stakeholders.
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MASTER THESIS
4. CONTEXT / BACKGROUND
4.1. GLOBAL CONTEXT
Access to modern forms of energy is essential for the provision of clean water, sanitation and
healthcare and provides great benefits to development through the provision of reliable and
efficient lighting, heating, cooking, mechanical power, transport and telecommunication
services. The strong correlation between income levels and access to modern energy
represents one of the main challenges to overcome.
In most of developing countries, due to lack of electricity access and low income, the
population highly relies on the use of biomass (mainly for cooking). Figure 2 shows a global
picture of electricity access in the world and the use of biomass in different regions and
Figure 3 presents an overview on electrification rates by region.
Figure 2. Electricity access and biomass use. (IEA, 2002).
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MASTER THESIS
Figure 3. Electrification rates by region (IEA, 2002).
As seen in Figures 2 and 3, Sub-Saharan countries highly rely on biomass as their main
energy source as there is a very low electrification rate. Moreover, as this region holds a big
percentage of the world population, it is crucial to find strategies to be able to provide energy
and electricity access for this region as part of their development in order to overcome
poverty and, introduce sustainable systems to achieve electricity access and sustainable
development in the future.
4.2. AFRICAN CONTEXT:
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the lowest access levels to electricity and modern
cooking fuels although the region has large energy resources. The major problems of the
electricity sector are low consumption levels, high costs, unreliable supply and power
shortages. To increase access to electricity the sector must improve in areas of governance,
access to finance and increase in regional energy trade; income levels of the population also
have to increase so electricity becomes affordable.
The region has large oil, gas and coal reserves as well as hydro, wind, solar and geothermal
potentials but most of these are largely unused due to lack of investment and know-how
within the regions' inhabitants. Still 80% of the sub-Saharan population still cook with wood
fuels on open fires, leading to high levels of indoor air pollution and a health hazard for the
population's health (Prasad, 2011).
The economy of the region has been growing in the past years but high investment and help
from developed countries is still required for a sustainable development of the region.
Significant investments in infrastructure had improved economic growth in the last years but
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MASTER THESIS
much more needs to be done in order to accomplish sustainable development of the
countries in the future.
4.3. RWANDA CONTEXT
Rwanda is a small country located in east Africa. Bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi
and the Democratic republic of Congo (Figures 4 and 5), it has a population of 10.5 million
people. The major economic sectors are tourism, mining and agriculture. Rwanda has three
official languages: Kinyarwanda, English and French. Table 1 shows some facts about
Rwanda taken from the UN.
Figure
5.
Rwanda
political
map.
(source:
www.maps.com) (Maps, 2014)
Figure 4. Rwanda location in Africa
(World Atlas, 2014)
Table 1. Rwanda Facts (UN, 2014).
Summary statistics
Region
Eastern Africa
Currency
Rwanda Franc (RWF)
2
Surface area (km )
26340
Population in 2011 (estimated, 000)
10943
Population density in 2011 (per square km)
415.5
Capital city and population in 2011 (000)
Kigali (1004)
United Nations membership date
18 September 1962
The Rwandan genocide in 1994 had a great impact on the country's economy and
development in the following years. Rwanda has made significant progress since the 1994
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MASTER THESIS
genocide, however, it still remains under-developed and with around 60% of its population
living under the poverty line. The historical legacy can explain somehow the challenges that
Rwanda faces today (Government of Rwanda, 2012).
Rwanda has achieved impressive development progress since the 1994 genocide and civil
war. It is consolidating gains in social development and economic growth in the last years.
Rwanda's long-term development goals are presented in its Vision 2020 (Government of
Rwanda, 2012); whose main target is to transform Rwanda from a low-income country to a
knowledge-based, service-oriented economy by 2020 (World bank, n.d.). Figure 6 shows the
trend in GDP growth in Rwanda towards 2016 compared with the growth in Sub-Saharan
Africa, it can be seen the great improvement that the country has been facing in the last
years and the good future ahead.
Figure 6. Rwanda's GDP annual growth. (World bank, n.d.)
4.3.1 SOCIAL
Human development continues to improve strongly, particularly school enrolment, as well as
child and maternal health. In terms of MDGs targets, the infant mortality goal has already
been achieved- Rwanda is set to meet the targets for universal primary education and
gender equality. (African Development Bank Group, n.d.)
In the last years Rwanda has successfully been promoting equal access to education for
men and women and is working towards meeting the education and gender equality MDGs
targets. However, there is still a severe shortage of professional personnel which represents
an obstacle for development, the lack of trained people affects the modernization of the main
businesses like agriculture.
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MASTER THESIS
4.3.2 ECONOMIC
The Vision 2020 seeks to fundamentally transform Rwanda into a middle-income country;
taking into account the country's extremely scarce resources, prioritization is crucial to meet
the 2020 targets. A short, middle and long term prioritization is formulated as follows:
(Government of Rwanda, 2012)

Short term: Promotion of macroeconomic stability and wealth creation to reduce aid
dependency.

Medium term: Transforming from an agrarian to a knowledge-based economy.

Long term: Creating a productive middle class and fostering entrepreneurship.
Rwanda's GDP has been growing after the 1994 genocide at an average rate of 7-8% per
year, driven by services and industry. (African Development Bank Group, n.d.)
Rwanda will put into place macroeconomic stabilization policies that will promote private
sector development; this, together with the expansion of domestic resource base and
increase in exports is the way to reduce the dependence on foreign aids.
Rwanda is still heavily dependent on natural resources and commodities. Agriculture
continues to be the largest source of employment, providing jobs to 73% of the workforce
(African Development Bank Group, n.d.). Agriculture is the main engine of economic growth,
however, low productivity is still the main challenge to target and energy access can be the
driver to solve this issue.
4.3.3 POLITICAL / INSTITUTIONAL:
Governance as well as the management of public resources remains insufficient due to the
lack of institutions and competent personnel. The government of Rwanda continues to rely
on foreign technical assistance which represent a hazards to domestic needs on the long
term (not building local capacities).
In July 2011 Rwanda enacted the electricity law which principles are:

Liberalization and regulations of the electricity sector.

Development of power supply for the country's economic and social development.

Creation of an enabling environment to attract private sector investments.

Development of a competitive electricity sector. (Isumbingabo, n.d.)
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MASTER THESIS
The aim of the electricity law is to attract private investment while encouraging a more
competitive market. A Draft Energy Policy is also in place, highlighting the need to maximize
use of indigenous energy, improve access and transparency and most importantly to
promote the use of renewable energy technology and conductive instruments such as feedin-tariffs (FIT).
4.4. NATIONAL ENERGY CONTEXT:
Rwanda has one of the lowest electricity consumption per capita compared with the other
countries in the region. Electricity accounts for about 5% of primary energy use and biomass
is the primary source of energy accounting for about 84%. With the growing of the population
and increasing industrialization in urban areas, Rwanda has been experiencing an energy
deficit in the last two decades.
In terms of energy resources, Rwanda possesses a very rich hydro power potential, a big
amount of gas reserves and peat, and good potential for solar, geothermal and wind as
renewable energy sources. (Safari, 2009). Figure 7 present the sources of energy in Rwanda
according to a study performed by Safari et al in 2009.
Figure 7. Energy sources in Rwanda. (Safari, 2009)
In terms of energy resources Rwanda has a high renewable energy potential. Given the
geographic location of Rwanda, there is abundant sunshine and the good levels of global
solar irradiation represents a potential for solar development. Several domestic solar water
heaters were installed before the Genocide of 1994 but now they are no more working
unfortunately. Wind and geothermal resources also can be used for energy production, there
a some small wind turbines currently operating. With the growing demand of electricity, the
Government of Rwanda is trying to diversify its energy sources as much as possible and
investment is being made in feasibility studies to determine the wind and geothermal capacity
and potential in Rwanda. (Safari, 2009)
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MASTER THESIS
During the last two decades, Rwanda has experienced an energy crisis. The Government of
Rwanda has taken measures in order to generate and supply energy in a more sustainable
way and is looking for strategies to achieve this. Due to the country's geography, hydropower
have had a great impact in energy production and new plants are being planned and built to
take advantage of this resource.
4.4.1 HYDROPOWER CONTEXT
Rwanda's major rivers have proven potential to support run-of-the-river hydropower plants.
There is an estimated potential of approximately 85 MW to be exploited (Rwanda
Development Board, n.d.). Figure 8 shows the hydropower development status in Rwanda
including the existing capacity and the expected hydropower contribution to the country's
energy mix by 2019.
Figure 8. Hydropower development Status in Rwanda. (Mategeko, 2011)
Despite the big hydropower potential, one of the major barriers to the development of small
hydropower, despite the motivation and instruments provided by the Government of Rwanda,
is the country's history which provides no incentive for foreign investment. (UNIDO, 2013)
Rwanda has a big potential for the development of small hydropower, however, the limitation
is often related to weak technical capabilities and private sector actors. The lack of financial
institutions and the low income of the rural population is another challenge to overcome for
the development of this energy source.
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MASTER THESIS
5. STATE OF THE ART / THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
5.1. HYDROPOWER BASICS
Hydropower is a renewable energy source which relies on the water cycle. The kinetic
energy coming from moving water (flow or fall) can be harnessed and used for power
production. Turbines placed in the water flow extract its kinetic energy and convert it to
mechanical energy. The amount of power generated depends on the water flow and head
(vertical distance) that the water falls. (Brown, et al., 2011).
Hydropower is the most mature, reliable and cost-effective renewable power generation
technology available and offers significant flexibility being capable of responding to
fluctuations in demand, it is capable of delivering baseload power, meeting peak demand, or
being used as a storage system.
Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source, and it produces around 16% of the
world's electricity and over fourth-fifths of the world's renewable electricity (IRENA, 2012).
Moreover, global hydro power has grown by 50% in the last two decades as shown in Figure
9 below. Furthermore, new power projects are mostly concentrated in developing and
emerging countries.
Figure 9. Hydropower growth trend. (Brown, et al., 2011)
Generally Hydropower is CO2 free in operation but there are greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions from the construction, silting in the reservoirs and from the decomposition of
organic material. One of the greatest challenges with the design and development of
hydropower is to ensure that the project is truly sustainable.
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MASTER THESIS
In order to ensure sustainability several aspects need to be taken into account in addition to
an economic assessment; this means that proper social and environmental impact
assessments must be conducted to identify potential risks and develop mitigation strategies
in the project plan. Some of the biggest impacts to be considered include changes in the
water regime, water quality, changes in biodiversity, population displacement and possible
effects of dams on fish migration. (IRENA, 2012).
Hydropower plants can be constructed in a variety of sizes and with different characteristics.
The three main types of hydro schemes are reservoir (storage), run-of-river and pumped
storage.
Storage schemes: A dam is used as reservoir to store water behind in order to de-couple
generation from inflows. Reservoir capacities can vary depending on the characteristic of the
site.
Run-of-river schemes: Use the natural flow of a river and diverts part of the flow,
channeling the water to a remote powerhouse and finally returning the diverted flow to the
river again. Figure 10 shows a general picture of this scheme.
Pumped storage schemes: Involves two reservoirs. At low demand (when price is low),
electricity is used to pump water from the lower to an upper basin. The water is released to
create power when demand and prices are high. It improves storage capacity and provides
grid flexibility.
Figure 10. Run-of-river scheme. (Jorde, et al., 2009)
20
MASTER THESIS
These types of hydropower plants are the most common and can be developed in a broad
range of size and capacity. (IRENA, 2012)
5.2. SMALL HYDROPOWER
The typical classification of hydro is generally done by size instead of head. However, there
is no agreed definition of "small" or "large" hydro and what constitutes "small" varies from
country to country in a wide range. Table 2 shows the variation on the definition in different
countries.
Table 2. Small hydropower definition by country (IRENA, 2012)
Small hydropower definition
(MW)
Brazil
≤ 30
Canada
≤ 50
China
≤ 50
European Union
≤ 20
India
≤ 25
Norway
≤ 10
Sweden
≤ 1.5
United States
5 - 100
Hydropower on a small-scale is one of the most cost-effective energy technologies to be
considered for rural electrification in developing countries. Small hydro technology is very
robust and have a long life time; also is an environmentally friendly technology. (Paish, 2002)
In most of the cases small hydro uses "run-off-river" schemes which do not have the adverse
effect on the local environment as large hydro. (UNIDO, 2010)
5.2.1 TURBINES OVERVIEW
A turbine converts the energy from falling water into rotating shaft power. The selection of the
best turbine depends upon the site characteristics, mainly head and flow available.
There are different types of turbines commercially available depending on the design
parameters of the plant. Turbines are divided into two types: Impulse and reaction.
21
MASTER THESIS
Impulse Turbines: In this type of turbines, the potential and pressure energy of the water is
converted into kinetic energy using normally nozzles to transfer this energy to the turbine
which converts it in mechanical energy. Impulse turbines are Pelton, Crossflow and Turgo.
(Kaltschmitt, et al., 2007)
Reaction Turbines: This type of turbines convert the potential water energy mainly into
pressure energy that is transferred to the turbine blades and converted into rotation. Reaction
turbines are i.e. Francis, Kaplan, Propeller and Straflo. (Kaltschmitt, et al., 2007)
Figure 11 shows the big picture around operating parameters of the different turbines and the
expected efficiency.
Figure 11. Types of turbines and performance. (Magureanu, et al., 2011)
5.3. PROJECT MANAGEMENT THEORY
Nowadays companies turn to project management to consistently deliver business results
and keep on running in today's competitive and chaotic global economy. Every day more
companies see clearly
the payoff from investing in organizational project management
expertise: lower costs, improved efficiency, customer and stakeholders’ satisfaction plus a
competitive advantage.
22
MASTER THESIS
Implementing project management helps create a strategic value chain that gives companies
an edge on their competitors, particularly in high-risk sectors and markets (PMI, 2010).
5.3.1 BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS (BMC)
A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and
captures value. The business model concept helps to facilitate description and discussion
around a business idea and ensures a shared understanding between the parties involved in
the business.
This concept must be simple, relevant and easily understandable, without oversimplifying the
complexities of how the enterprises function.
The business model canvas, created by Osterwalder is a good tool that allows to easily
describe and manipulate business models to create new strategic alternatives. This model is
built based on 9 blocks (Ostwewalder & Pigneur, 2009):
1. Customer Segments: Defines the different groups of people or organizations an
enterprise aims to reach and serve.
2. Value Propositions: Describes the bundle of products and services that create value for a
specific Customer Segment.
3. Channels: Describes how a company communicates with and reaches its Customer
segment to deliver a value proposition.
4. Customer Relationships: Describes the types of relationships a company establishes
with specific customer segments.
5. Revenue Streams: Represents the cash a company generates from each Customer
segment.
6. Key Resources: Describes the most important assets required to make a business model
work.
7. Key Activities: Describes the most important things a company must do to make its
business model work.
8. Key Partnerships: Describes the network of suppliers and partners that make the
business model work.
9. Cost Structure: Describes all costs incurred to operate a business model.
Figure 12 shows a schematic view of the proposed BMC.
23
MASTER THESIS
Figure 12. Business Model Canvas (Ostwewalder & Pigneur, 2009).
5.3.2 RISK MANAGEMENT
Risks are inherent in projects and no amount of planning can overcome risk. In the context of
projects, risk is an uncertain event or condition that can have either a positive or negative
effect on project objectives. However, some potential risk events can be identified before the
project starts. Risk management attempts to recognize and manage potential and
unforeseen spots that may occur when the project is implemented.
Risk management identifies as many risk events as possible (what can go wrong), minimizes
their impact, manages responses to the events that do materialize, and provides contingency
funds to cover risk events that actually materialize (Larson & Gray, 2011).
Figure 13. Risk related to Project life cycle (Larson & Gray, 2011)
Figure 13 shows the interaction between the risk in the different phases of the project life
cycle. The chances of a risk event occurring are greatest in the concept, planning, and startup phases of the project. On the other hand, the cost impact of a risk event in the project is
24
MASTER THESIS
less if the event occurs earlier rather than later. The best opportunity to minimize the impact
of working around potential risks is present in the early stages of the project.
Risk management is a proactive approach rather than a reactive, therefore the risk
management process is a preventive process designed to ensure that surprises are reduced
and the negative impacts are minimized. The risk management process consists of 4
different steps continuously interacting: (Larson & Gray, 2011)
1. Risk Identification: Analyze the project to identify sources of risk.
2. Risk Assessment: Assesses risk in terms of severity of impact, likelihood of occuring and
controlability.
3. Risk Response Development: Develop a strategy to reduce possible damage and
contingency plans.
4. Risk Response Control: Implement risk strategy, monitor and adjust plan for new risks
and change management.
5.3.3 PROJECT LIFE CYCLE
There is not agreement about the life cycle phases of a project due to the complicated nature
and diversity of the projects, which can vary in size and complexity. However, a simple life
cycle structure can be identified for the majority of them, which is shown in Figure 14.
Figure 14. General Project life cycle (Free Management ebooks, 2013)
25
MASTER THESIS
The scheme shown in Figure 14 is known as a four-phase life cycle and the phases are
usually referred to as:
1. Initiation: Authorize and define the scope of the project.
2. Planning: Define and mature the project scope, develop the project management plan,
and identify and schedule the project activities.
3. Execution: Complete the work defined in the project management plan and accomplish
project's objectives defined in the scope.
4. Closure: Terminate formally all activities.
Figure 15 shows the level of effort needed in each one of the phases explained before and
some of the activities to be done in each phase.
Figure 15. Level of effort in project life cycle phases (Larson & Gray, 2011)
5.4. HYDROPOWER CASE STUDIES
Some case studies were revised during the literature review and 4 specific case studies were
selected to identify common elements and compare with the thesis project.
The selection criteria were based on the type of hydropower scheme of the plant, country of
development and similarities with the current project.
The selected case studies are briefly presented below.
"Small hydropower plants in Spain: A case Study" (Alonso-Tristán, et al., 2011)
A small hydropower plant in Spain is studied from an energetic and economic perspective
evaluating the viability of the facility using RETScreen as a modeling tool. A real case of 400
kW grid-connected SHP plan is presented and a pre-feasibility study was conducted using
26
MASTER THESIS
RETScreen to simulate other economic scenarios and demonstrate the viability of these type
of projects. A sensitivity analysis was performed to evaluate the profitability of the project with
changes in economic indicators. The study demonstrates the capacity of the RETScreen
software to analyze small hydro projects.
"Small hydro power plant under clean development mechanism in India: A preliminary
assessment" (Purohit, 2008)
The clean development mechanism (CDM) provides incentives to invest in emission
reduction projects. Small hydropower projects could be of interest as they do not generate
GHG emissions and contributes to sustainable rural development.
There is a big potential for small hydropower development in India and the implementation of
CDM can help the country achieve its energy goals in the future and also the mitigation of
GHG emissions.
Several potential sites for small hydropower development were studied in order to impulse its
future implementation through the CDM.
"Incorporating socio-environmental considerations into project assessment models
using multi-criteria analysis: A case study of Sri Lankan hydropower projects"
(Morimoto, 2013)
Assessments of economic and socio-environmental impacts are many times not taken into
account in the implementation of energy projects. To assess and evaluate sustainability,
several different elements needs to be taken into account but often are investigated
separately. A multi-criteria analysis is carried out in order to examine how to incorporate
socio-environmental considerations into project assessment models.
Micro hydro schemes are used for electrification of several villages in Sri Lanka. The small
hydropower sector is a potential source for electrification and therefore is selected as case
study for the implementation of project assessment models.
A project assessment tool was proposed in order to quantitatively examine economic,
environmental and social impacts. This tool will be useful for offering an integrated approach
to assess key economic and socio-environmental impacts simultaneously. Further research
needs to be done around other indirect impacts present in different energy projects.
"Implementation of a small hydro power project in India: Issues and lessons" (Rao,
2011)
27
MASTER THESIS
The study analyses and explores the opportunities and challenges of implementing a small
hydro power project in India. The analysis includes a study on India's hydropower
development policy and focuses on a specific region in India (northwest) which has a vast
hydropower potential. Different challenges were identified for the implementation of small
hydro in terms of technical, economical and political issues. An evaluation of project
opportunities and challenges was made identifying key success factors and lessons for future
entrepreneurs and policy planners. The findings of the study need to be validated using
quantitative data through a survey methodology but helps as a starting point for the
development of this technology in the country.
6. RESULTS & DISCUSSION
6.1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
6.1.1 BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS OF HYDROPOWER PROJECTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
A business model canvas was built as a tool for the better understanding of the business
model around small scale hydropower projects in developing countries. Figure 16 shows a
general business model for hydropower projects in developing countries, describing how this
kind of project can create, deliver and capture value.
Figure 16. Business Model Canvas for Small Hydro Projects in developing countries.
28
MASTER THESIS
6.1.2 SWOT ANALYSIS OF HYDROPOWER IN EAST AFRICA
A SWOT analysis is a method used to evaluate strengths and weaknesses present internally
in the organization, coupled with the opportunities and threads the organization faces
externally. This method can be applied to both a project and a business (Lynch, 2006).
Two on-going projects in the company are been taken to make the SWOT analysis of
hydropower in East Africa. These projects will be referred as project A and B for
confidentiality conditions; the projects deal with the development of small scale hydropower
plants in East Africa and are going to be used as case studies for the analysis.
Figure 17 shows the SWOT analysis performed to small scale hydropower development in
East Africa.
Figure 17. SWOT Analysis for small scale hydropower development in East Africa.
Energy is the main driver for development, and a small hydropower system can be a very
good energy source to implement in developing countries, as it is a mature technology. It can
29
MASTER THESIS
be used for electricity generation purposes either connected to the national grid or
implemented in smaller scales in mini grids. Moreover, small scale hydro can be
implemented within a sustainable framework without jeopardizing the environment and
promoting local development.
There is a big opportunity for the implementation of these kinds of projects in several
countries with rich water resources and adequate landscape to provide energy access.
In the case of developing countries in East Africa, small hydropower will help meet the MDGs
through electricity access for lightning purposes specially. In the first stages, hydropower will
not make any contribution for cooking purposes until a proper legal framework around
electricity tariffs is implemented (local communities cannot afford electricity in rural areas).
On the other hand, financing strategies need to be put in place for the development of hydro
projects due to the high capital cost and initial investment; a strong institutional framework is
required in order to attract foreign investment and impulse the development of hydropower.
6.1.3 RISK IDENTIFICATION
Based on literature and review of some case studies around hydropower projects in
developing countries some risks where identified and categorized in different topics for the
sustainable development of a small scale hydro project. The list presented below shows
some of the potential risks present in a hydropower project and gives some understanding on
critical elements that need to be taken into account during the planning and future
implementation of a successful small/medium scale hydropower project.
Technical

Resource assessment (Potential of hydro development, hydrology survey)

Resource quality (River characteristics in hydrology survey)

Site location (Detailed assessment, surrounding area)

Skilled manpower (know-how and need of training to impulse local development)

Infrastructure (Access to the potential area)

Construction risks (Local contractors, availability of equipment, geological survey)

Local repair / Maintenance facilities (Training of local manpower)

Capacity factor (Load factor, proper definition in the planning phase)
30
MASTER THESIS
Financial

Tariff / Ability to pay (Cost of electricity)

Investment availability (Local and foreign investment from private and public
institutions)

Financial viability (Feasibility of the investment)

Subsidies (Potential Grants / Loans for the development of the project)

Cost of energy (Policy framework around tariffs)
Social

Public awareness of the project (Impact on local communities)

Health impacts (Mitigation strategies around health hazards)

Willingness to pay (Electricity price after implementation should not be high)

Feeling of ownership (Involvement of local communities in the development of the
project)

Community participation (Local manpower to be hired during construction phase)
Environmental

Hydrology (water quality, sediment concentration)

Flood risk (Change in the river flow through the year, seasonal flow variation)

Soil / Sub-soil (i.e. acidification)

Air quality (Emissions during construction phase, dust)

Noise (Levels in the construction phase and operation)

Land use (Crops around the plant area)

Waste (Waste management during construction phase)

Ecology: Forests, terrestrial wildlife, aquatic ecology (Impact on ecology during
construction and operation)
Legal / Political

Environmental impact requirements (Levels of emissions according to regulation)

Subsidies and incentives (Help for communities to afford electricity)

Feed in tariff (Incentive for RE systems implementation i.e. small hydro)

Insurance schemes

Political influence (PPA contracts)
Organizational / Managerial

Ownership structures (Project management and revenue collection)
31
MASTER THESIS

Management capacity (Need of external supervision)

Community mobilization (Local communities around the project area)

Demand assessment (Demand potential after implementation)
The mitigation strategies for the risks shown above have to take into account the correlation
that exists between many of them. For example, the willingness to pay for local communities
will depend upon the tariff and the affordability of local communities to access electricity, as
well as the access to the infrastructure.
The mitigation strategies in this kind of projects is a complex multi-dimension process that
needs to be implemented carefully to avoid new risks and hazards coming to the project in
later stages.
6.1.4 PROPOSED GUIDELINES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROPER PLANNING OF SMALL SCALE
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (FEASIBILITY PHASE)
Based on the literature review on small scale hydro power projects, case studies and
Renetech's know-how, some elements were identified and are listed below as proposed
guidelines to follow for the proper planning of a small scale hydro energy system in
developing countries. This elements should be included in the pre-feasibility and feasibility
phase of the project and are crucial for the go or no-go decision.
The inclusion of the elements was selected based on common elements found in different
case studies and on-going projects. The explanation of the importance or role in the decision
making process is presented as well as the impact of the element to the project. The proper
evaluation of this elements in the planning phase will reduce the extra costs and time during
the implementation phase, as well as minimize risk in future stages.
As stated before, the proposal of guidelines and recommendations will be around the
planning phase of a project, therefore, this impact that each one of the elements will have to
the project is to be evaluated.
The impact of each element to the project is categorized as follows:
Impact
H: High
M: Medium
L: Low
32
MASTER THESIS
The impact scale and further evaluation was proposed by myself as part of the thesis work
and refined by the team working on the project.
In the implementation phase, the impact of the project on some of these elements will need
to be included as they may lead to other critical decisions.
• Introduction & Scope of work
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Scope
of
work
including Explanation of the general framework of the
background and context
project.
Brief description of project area
Understanding of the project, justification of the
H
M
project
Objective of the project
Define the goal, purpose of the study.
H
Methodology to be used
Better project management. Structure of the
H
work to be done.
• Description of project area
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Landscape and Topography
Define altitude of the site, description of terrain
H
and conditions. (i.e. mountainous, flat, etc)
Population
Communities around project area, population
M
density
Economic activities
Identify main activities in the area (agriculture,
M
fishing, etc)
Energy consumption
Current
energy
consumption,
fuels
used,
H
Potential hazards to forests, terrestrial wildlife,
M
purpose (cooking, electricity, etc)
Ecology and Sensitive areas
aquatic ecology, etc.
Access & Services
Existing infrastructure to access the site.
Available services (water and energy)
33
H
MASTER THESIS
Existing service providers
Available information
Identify availability of information and data
H
• Hydrology
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Description of site's hydrology
Understanding of the site conditions and
H
potential for the project.
Water Quality
Identify possible constraints for the project
M
design (sedimentation)
Data availability
Access to hydrological data bases, historical
H
data, on site measurements.
Precipitation
Identification of dry and rainy seasons. Annual
H
precipitation.
Climate
Historical data on climate change and future
H
trends. (Climatic stations data)
Flow duration curve
Change in the flow during the year. Critical for
H
the selection of design flow.
References
Documentation with historic data and trends
used
as
backup
information
H
(preliminary
information to be double-checked with field
studies)
• Geology
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Available maps
Identify geotechnical characteristics, potential
H
constraints for construction.
Seismic Considerations
Identify seismic hazard on the site of the
H
project.
Site observations
Identify potential risks for excavation and
34
H
MASTER THESIS
construction.
Slope Stability
Identify the slope for head works.
H
References
Documentation with historic data and trends
H
used
as
backup
information
(preliminary
information to be double-checked with field
studies)
• Capacity and Energy production
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Available Head
Identification of gross head from altitude data
H
and net head from preliminary design.
Available flow
Based on hydrology, Flow Duration Curve.
H
Define optimum design flow.
Energy production potential
Calculate the amount of energy that the plant
H
can produce depending on the operating
conditions.
Electricity demand & forecast
Identify
local
and
national
demand
and
H
forecast.
• Project Design & Layout
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Net head
Identification of net head available for power
H
production.
Capacity
Power generation capacity, depending on
H
number of operating hours
Annual Energy estimates
Decide on number of operating hours of the
M
plant. (Demand forecast, profitability)
General project layout
Identify different elements of the proposed
system.
35
H
MASTER THESIS
Project Alternatives.
Project scheme
Description of the plant and main elements.
H
Intake and Head works
Define
H
intake
approach
type,
channel,
diversion
structure,
desilter,
weir,
etc
(depending on project area)
Headrace and penstock
Technical sizing, selection criteria, identifying
H
head losses. (To be studied and better defined
in the detailed design stage)
Powerhouse and equipment
Technology
selection
based
on
design
H
parameters and head losses (To be studied
and better defined in the detailed design stage)
Turbine and Generator
Selection of type of turbine and operating
H
conditions (To be studied and better defined in
the detailed design stage)
Operation and Maintenance
O&M requirements of the proposed facility
H
Distribution grid
Define
off-grid
H
Availability of grid connection, distance to the
H
the
grid
scheme
(on
or
depending on the size of the plant)
Connection to national grid
national grid, investment.
Access to construction site
Identify ways to access the site, infrastructure
H
needed?
• Cost estimate of civil works and equipments
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Estimation of costs
Estimate initial investment, construction costs,
H
O&M.
Direct benefits
Estimate annual energy production.
H
Identify energy tariff.
Business model
Different
Business
Models
and
Project
H
Use of economic indicators such as PBP, NPV,
H
financing mechanism
Financial analysis
36
MASTER THESIS
IRR, B/C to support decision.
• Socioeconomic Impact
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Society
Initial
impact
on
local
communities
M
(displacement, land use, etc.)
Net positive impact through electricity access
Economy
Impact
on
local
business
development.
L
Electricity access as economic driver.
Job creation and local development
Health & safety
Positive impact on health.
L
Reduce use of biomass and change to
electricity (Does not include cooking)
Cultural Environment
Public acceptance of the project, willingness to
L
change fuels and pay for electricity.
• Environmental Impact
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Hydrology
Impact on water use and waste water.
M
Flow variation in the river.
Soil, Sub-soil
Identify risk of soil pollution during the phases
M
of the project (specially during construction)
Air quality
Identify risk of air pollution (specially dust in
L
construction phase)
Noise levels
Impact during the different phases of the
L
project (Construction and operation)
Land use and Waste
Impact on land around the project area.
Waste
management
construction.
37
specially
H
during
MASTER THESIS
Ecology
Impact on forests, terrestrial and aquatic
M
ecology (wildlife, fish, etc)
• Legal/Institutional Framework
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Energy policy context
Energy plan and vision, understanding of the
H
energy context in the country.
Legal Framework
Identify current policies around land and water
H
rights, energy tariffs, land ownership, etc.
Potential Risks
Identify potential risks for the project due to
H
lack of strong institutional framework and risk
mitigation measures.
• Conclusion and Recommendations
Impact
Element
Why / Role in decision making
TO
Project
Conclusion
Is it feasible?. Economic, environmental, social
H
feasibility review. Go or no-Go. (Evaluate
sustainability)
Recommendation
Specify need of further study in certain
H
elements of the study. (Normally around flow
and head measurements)
Future work to be done
6.2. SMALL SCALE HYDROPOWER CASE STUDY
As stated in Chapter 3, on-going projects have been taken as case studies to identify the
different elements shown above. These case studies will be used to explain technical,
environmental and socio-economical issues in the development of a small scale hydropower
project.
38
MASTER THESIS
6.2.1 PRELIMINARY CONCEPTUAL DESIGN OF THE PLANT
The different elements that the hydro energy system should include depend on the site
specifications presented in the previous phases of the project (pre-feasibility and feasibility).
The project will be located in a hilly area, therefore some elements like a headrace channel
would be needed to transport the flow until the area where the penstock will be installed.
This preliminary conceptual design of the plant explains each one of the elements that the
plant will include and its purpose. Even though most of the hydro power plants include similar
components, depending on the location, the addition of some elements is crucial in the
planning phase.
The selection of the different elements for the preliminary design is based on a literature
review around the development of hydro power projects and also on the documentation of
the previous phases of the current project. The detailed design will be included in the next
phase of the project but is not in the scope of this thesis work.
• Individual Components of the Hydro power plant:
Weir and Intake:
Intake must divert the required stream flow into the headrace channel at all the times and all
water levels in the river. A lateral intake will be used for the plant, consisting of a small
diversion structure that forces inflow to enter a canal by raising the upstream water level. A
lateral intake is preferred, as it will have fewer problems with the sediments in the water and
also allows gaining additional gross head for power generation.
The diversion structure consists of a weir that will guide the river flow into the lateral intake.
Trash Rack
The trash rack is necessary to take care of trees and material like rocks going inside the
water stream in order to avoid this material entering the penstock and turbines. A second
small trash rack will be installed after the forebay to ensure that no particles will go inside the
penstock and damage the turbine.
Settling Basin (Desilter)
The settling basin allows sediment to settle before the headrace channel in order to avoid
particles to get into the turbine and damage it. The design of the basin depends on the water
quality of the river and some parameters like size and retention time need to be properly
defined in the detail design phase.
Spillway
A spillway will be put in place to avoid the risk of flood when the water flow is high in the rainy
seasons. The spillway basically diverts water and conducts it back to the river.
39
MASTER THESIS
Headrace Channel
The headrace channel conveys water from the intake facility to the penstock, it is usually a
rectangular concrete channel with a gentle slope ( to be defined in the detailed design) to
avoid big head losses before the penstock. The headrace channel will go along the contour
of the river taking the water to the site where the penstock will be installed.
Forebay
The forebay consists of a small basin designed to provide the transition between the
headrace channel (concrete structure) and the penstock (metal structure). It has a crucial
function as it defines the hydraulic head at the penstock intake.
Penstock and support
The penstock is one of the most important elements in the installation of the power plant as it
will define the gross head of the plant. For this particular project the proposed penstock will
consist of a closed metal pipe due to the high pressure it will need to handle, mainly because
of the high head of the project. It will also reduce friction losses.
The proper sizing of the penstock is a complex procedure which needs to be optimized as
two main factors interact with each other. On the one hand, the penstock diameter should be
as large as possible to minimize friction losses, and on the other hand, larger penstock
implies higher costs. An optimization between friction losses and cost needs to be done
during the detailed design phase of the project.
Powerhouse and Tailrace
The penstock will drive the energy carrier (water) to the powerhouse; where the elements for
power production are installed. The most important electro-mechanical equipment that
composes the powerhouse is described below.
After the powerhouse, a tailrace channel is put in place to release the water back to the river.
• Electro-mechanical equipment
Turbine
The turbine is the heart of the hydro system, water power is converted into rotational power
in order to drive a generator and generate electricity. The drive system couples the turbine to
the generator and allows the turbine to spin at its optimum RPM.
Generator
The generator converts the rotational power from the turbine shaft into electrical power.
Typically AC generators are used and, depending on the power requirement, one-phase or
three-phase generators are chosen.
40
MASTER THESIS
Controller
Governors and other controls help ensure that the generator constantly spins at its correct
speed and avoid damage in the equipment with increases in load.
6.2.2 TECHNOLOGY AND SUPPLIER SELECTION
Based on the studies performed before, the design parameters for the hydro energy system
where selected as:
Design Flow= 3.5 m3/s
Gross Head = 162 m
According to the design parameters the selection of the proper turbine is done.
Figure 18. Turbine selection chart. (Kaltschmitt, et al., 2007)
As can be seen in Figure 18 for the design conditions two types of turbines can be used;
Pelton or Francis.
As presented earlier in this report the difference between these two types of turbines is that
one is an impulse turbine type (Pelton) and the other is a reaction type (Francis). The turbine
supplier will assess the proper selection of the turbine depending on the site conditions.
41
MASTER THESIS
The supplier selection process was carried out taking into account some requirements from
the financing entity as it stated that the technology supplier should be from Sweden or
Scandinavia.
A preliminary selection matrix was built to evaluate different suppliers and select the one who
fits better into the project requirements. As mentioned above, this project will deal with a
relatively high head (162 m), therefore, the first parameter to be considered when looking for
different suppliers is the technical capacity of the supplier to provide the equipment and the
experience in the development of small hydro projects.
One of the requirements in the projects' financing is that the technology needs to be supplied
by Swedish or Scandinavian suppliers. Sweden and Norway have a big experience on the
development of hydro projects for electricity production, however, due to the geographical
conditions of Sweden most of the hydropower plants have heads of not more than 100 m. On
the other hand, Norway has more experience in the development of hydropower projects with
high heads. This issue can be easily seen in the suppliers’ portfolio of products and was an
initial step when building the selection matrix.
Nevertheless, talking to some of the suppliers we found out that, even though they do not
have the required turbines in their portfolio, some of the suppliers have worked with high
head projects and can in fact provide the technology required. A brief overview of the
technical parameters offered by different suppliers is shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Suppliers’ technical overview
42
MASTER THESIS
6.2.3 FINANCIAL MODEL
Based on the previous phases of the project some figures were quantified to build a
preliminary financial model of the project. The power generation capacity and estimated tariff
were used to calculate the potential revenue in the operation of the plant.
On the other hand, the financing of the project was taken into account to build the cash flows
and introduce some economic indicators (NPV and Payback period) to evaluate the
profitability of the project in its lifetime.
The basic parameters taken into account for the model are shown in Table 4. (Due to a
confidentiality agreement within the project, the scales of the figures were altered by a factor)
Table 4. Input Parameters.
Input Data
% Operation
90%
8760
Operating hours
7884 hr/yr
Capacity
4.5 MW
Power Generation
35478 MWh/yr
Tariff
7.5 Uscents/kWh
75 USD/MWh
Annual Revenue
2660850 USD/yr
PBP
NPV
4.016 yr
26933 x1000 USD
Free Cash Flow with Loan
60,000.00
FCF [x1000 USD]
50,000.00
40,000.00
30,000.00
20,000.00
10,000.00
0.00
(10,000.00)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233
(20,000.00)
Years
Figure 19. Free cash flow considering loan.
43
MASTER THESIS
Figures 19 and 20 show the free cash flow of the project considering two different scenarios:
with or without loan.
Free Cash Flow without Loan
80,000.00
70,000.00
FCF [x1000 USD]
60,000.00
50,000.00
40,000.00
30,000.00
20,000.00
10,000.00
0.00
(10,000.00)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233
(20,000.00)
Years
Figure 20. Free cash flow not considering loan.
6.2.4 SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS WITH TARIFF VARIATION
A sensitivity analysis was performed based on tariff variation according to information
gathered from RURA (Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency, 2011). RURA has published
recently REFIT depending on the capacity of the plant. Table 5 shows the variation
depending on the capacity.
Table 5. Published REFIT (Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency, 2011)
Published REFIT
Size (MW)
(UScents / kWh)
Size (MW)
(UScents / kWh)
0.05
16.6
3
8.7
0.10
16.1
4
7.9
0.15
15.2
5
7.2
0.20
14.3
6
7.1
0.25
13.5
7
7.0
0.50
12.9
8
6.9
0.75
12.3
9
6.8
1
11.8
10
6.7
2
9.5
44
MASTER THESIS
The capacity of the hydropower plant under study is around 4.5 MW, therefore, the sensitivity
analysis was done taking the variation in tariff from 7.9 UScents/kWh (4 MW) to 7.2
UScents/kWh (5MW). Figures 21 and 22 show the variation of two economic indicators (PBP
and NPV) when the tariff changes.
Payback period Sensitivity
5
Years
4
3
2
1
0
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
REFIT [UScents/kWh]
7.8
7.9
8
7.9
8
Figure 21. Payback period sensitivity with variation in tariff.
NPV [x1000 USD]
Net present value Sensitivity
29500
29000
28500
28000
27500
27000
26500
26000
25500
25000
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
REFIT [UScents/kWh]
7.8
Figure 22. Net present value period sensitivity with variation in tariff.
As seen in Figure 21, the payback period will slightly change with variation in the tariff but will
be around 4 years in all the different tariffs, PBP does not presents high sensitivity with
variations in the REFIT.
45
MASTER THESIS
On the other hand, Figure 22 shows the behavior of NPV with variations in the electricity
tariff. The net present value experiences greater variations depending on the tariff applied,
the overall change between the lowest and highest REFIT is around 4 million USD which will
have a big impact in the profitability of the plant. However, even with the lowest tariff the
project will still generate a positive NPV and will be a good investment.
6.2.5 ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT CONSIDERATIONS
As the development of the project is within a sustainable framework, environmental and
social impact considerations were made. However, in the scope of the thesis work, brief
considerations identifying potential impacts and possible mitigation strategies are stated.
Further in the project a proper environmental and social impact assessment will be carried
out.
For a better understanding of the different potential impacts, they will be described
separately.
• Environmental Considerations:
As seen in the literature review, run-of-river hydropower schemes have a low environmental
impact and can be implemented in a sustainable way to provide electricity.
Nevertheless, when developing the plant, some environmental considerations have to be
taken into account, most of them take place specially during the construction phase.
The main environmental impacts during the construction include pollution (water, air and soil)
if not done in a sustainable way. Proper waste management strategies should be
implemented to avoid pollution, erosion and hazards to the ecology around the area.
Although a small hydropower plant does not produce GHG emissions during its operation,
some emissions are produced during the construction phase and proper equipment should
be used to minimize this. Moreover, dust in the air can represent a big impact in terms of
environment and health.
The entry of sediments in the river should be handled carefully to avoid flooding and impact
on aquatic species along the river bed. Also a minimum flow in the river should be kept
(environmental flow), both during construction and operation of the plant. Adequate flow of
46
MASTER THESIS
water should be taken into account to avoid environmental impacts and without jeopardizing
the water access downstream.
The development and implementation of environmental management guidelines is critical to
minimize the impact during the different stages of the project. Furthermore, mitigation
strategies should be put in place as part of the risk management of the project.
• Social Considerations:
The development and future implementation of the hydropower plant will have a big positive
socio-economic impact on the long term. Nevertheless, some social considerations have to
be taken into account especially during the planning and construction phase.
As mentioned before in this report, energy access is the main driver for development and is
the main reason for the development of this particular hydropower plant.
The plant is going to be implemented in a rural area without electricity access and highly
relying in biomass as the main energy source (for both cooking and lightning). The power
plant will provide local communities with electricity access through the national grid.
The main socio-economic impacts during the construction phase of the plant will be related to
land usage. The main economic activity of the communities around the project area is
agriculture; therefore, the land that will be used for the project will no longer be available for
growing crops. However, there are not many agriculture fields currently in use around the
project area so the social impact for local communities is not very high.
The institutional and political framework has an impact over the social issues as it is still not
very strong and the policies around land ownership, acquisition and compensation are not
completely clear. The social impact for local communities is related to the land compensation
for loss of crops.
There is some positive impact during the construction phase as it can generate jobs and
impulse local economic development by training in construction. This issue will depend upon
the contractor’s way of working. Normally the civil works are done by local partners and,
therefore, local manpower is used.
On the other hand, after the construction phase, the socio-economic impact will be positive
as the operation of the plant will bring access to electricity in a local and national level.
47
MASTER THESIS
The positive impacts in society include improvement of infrastructure around the project area
such as access roads. Moreover, electricity access can help in the water problem and
sanitation issues by the development of local economies (small industry, hospitals, schools,
etc).
In terms of MDGs, the construction of this hydropower plant will help in the completion of the
MDGs targets. Improvement in education, health, food security and general of life standards
of the population in the country will be impulse by providing energy access.
7. CONCLUSIONS
Small hydropower projects can be very helpful, if developed in a sustainable way, to meet the
energy needs of developing countries without incurring in big social or environmental
impacts. The maturity and cost-effectiveness of the technology makes it a very interesting
solution for providing energy access.
The implementation of sustainable energy systems like small hydropower in East African
countries is the main driver to meet the MDGs as it will impulse development through energy
access, having a positive social and environmental impact.
The planning and future implementation of a small scale hydropower plant is a complex and
time demanding work which requires both desk and field work in every stage to ensure its
success.
Proper risk management techniques have to be used in all the different stages of the project
development, especially in the initial ones, to avoid higher costs and failure on the next
stages. The identification of critical risks in an early stage of the project and detailed work
around the definition of technical parameters (flow and head) are crucial for the planning of
the project.
The measurements in the first stages of planning a hydropower project are crucial for its
success and are many times not carried out properly. Proper surveying and field studies
have to be performed to evaluate the hydro potential of the site in the planning stage.
The legal and institutional framework should be considered in detail in the planning phase to
identify potential hazards for the implementation and operation of the power plant. The lack
48
MASTER THESIS
of institutional maturity and not strong political framework in most of East African countries
can jeopardize the development of the projects. Creating partnerships with local companies
can reduce this impact.
8. FUTURE WORK
Future work should be performed around the financial model including a sensitivity analysis
regarding changes in tariff and NVP variation. Moreover, more accurate parameters around
the loan agreement should be included to make a stronger financial model.
In terms of initial investment, the figures should be revised as new quotations are available to
evaluate the different suppliers based on economic indicators.
As stated in the report, environmental and social considerations were analyzed but needs
further development of the potential hazards and potential mitigation strategies. A proper
socio-environmental impact assessment needs to be performed in the future staged of the
project.
49
MASTER THESIS
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