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Facilitating greater energy access in rural and remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa: Small hydropower


  • Williams S Ebhota
  • Freddie L Inambao


Flowing water has hydraulic energy that can be transformed into electrical energy, sub-Saharan Africa has an abundance of hydro resources that are untapped. In this study, various barriers limiting the use of small hydropower to tap the abundant hydro potentials for power generation are discussed. These barriers include insufficient fund; lack of adequate manufacturing infrastructure; lack of adequate power generation and distribution policies; inaccurate hydrological data; insufficient human and power infrastructure capacities; and inadequate domestic and regional participation in design and manufacture of small hydropower component devices and systems. This study sees hydro as a cleaner energy source and small hydropower as the best power system for rural and remote areas and for stand-alone electrification. For power sustainability in the region, public–private partnership, domestication of small hydropower technologies and less reliance on foreign technologies and international support are key factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Williams S Ebhota & Freddie L Inambao, 2017. "Facilitating greater energy access in rural and remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa: Small hydropower," Energy & Environment, , vol. 28(3), pages 316-329, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:engenv:v:28:y:2017:i:3:p:316-329

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