One key program of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy efficiency, ECREEE, in Praia/Kap Verde is the Small-Scale Hydropower program. In frame of this flagship program ECREEE tendered and contracted the Austrian consultants from Poyry Energy GmbH for a GIS hydropower resource mapping and modeling of hydropower potentials of all relevant rivers and tributaries in 14 countries of West Africa.
The river network for the whole Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, the hydropower potentials, their suitability for different plant sizes, the river profiles and further hydropower relevant data, were computed on the basis of elevation, discharge, precipitation, climatic and topographical data. For the first time, the discharge, and hydropower potentials and further information were computed for 500.000 river reaches in West Africa.
Moreover, the study takes into account the scientific climate change prospection for West Africa and computes the future impact of different climate change scenarios on these hydro power potential. The data shall be put online on the observatory for renewable energy ECOWREX.org by November 2016. In addition, a geo-database has been developed to hub all existing operative hydropower plants in West Africa on ECOWREX.
On 28 and 29 of July 2016 West African actors from ministries of energy and water and from river basin organizations were trained in Dakar in background, lessons learned and use of the computed hydropower potentials for the region of West Africa.
The GIS Hydropower Ressource Mapping of West Africa rivers and the training in Dakar were funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Spanish Development Cooperation (AECID).