Small Hydro Power in Sub-Saharan Africa - Framework Conditions
Utilizing potentials from small hydro power for sustainable energy supply in Sub-Saharan Africa is still very limited. The overall installed hydro power capacity in Africa is 20.3 GW. Small hydro power accounts for only about 1% (228 MW). Only 0.5% of the worldwide small hydro power capacity is installed in Africa (for comparison: Asia 68%). Generally, the promotion of small hydro power is considered a low priority on policy level and within the context of national energy strategies.The GTZ sector project Poverty-oriented Basic Energy Services (HERA) together with the EU Energy Initiative’s Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI-PDF) have jointly prepared a discussion paper analyzing the policy and regulatory framework conditions under which small hydropower can be developed in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The paper first outlines the potential of Micro Hydro Power (MHP) and its current positioning in terms of existing and planned MHP projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a second step, the main barriers for MHP sector development are briefly described and wherever possible underlined with some examples from the field. For each main barrier, several potential and existing mitigating strategies are outlined and good practices are identified. The report concludes with some preliminary recommendations of how the gap between existing top-down regulation and regulatory needs of MHP projects can be overcome in order to deploy MHP in Sub-Saharan Africa on a larger scale.