Identification of the catchment areas and potential survey of power generation from small hydropower plants in Kurdistan province

Document Type : Research Article


Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Hydropower power generation is one of the most important sources of renewable energies. Small hydropower plants are becoming the most popular option of hydropower plants, which can be applied in small and remote places, and are able to produce cheap, clean and reliable electricity. In Iran and most developing countries, electricity transmission to remote regions for reasons such as high transmission costs and lack of proper supply of electricity, is faced with serious problems. Therefore, small hydropower plants can be considered as a suitable option to supply the power needed especially in rural and remote areas. This study aimed to study the feasibility and potential for generating electricity from small hydropower plants in the province of Kurdistan. Therefore, the catchment areas have been investigated and based on the average of tempreture, rain fall, and the catchment areas the amount of discharge is estimed. Then an appropriate locations to install hydropower plants are determined with respect to the intended technical, economic and environmental restrictions. Finally, the capacity of hydropowers is calculated. The results indicate the possibility to construct 3455 small hydropower plants in the province of Kurdistan, and finally, in the case of construction of small hydropower plants, in all the proposed areas it will be possible to produce 492 MW of electricity from hydropower in Kurdistan.


Main Subjects

[1] Koç C. A study on the development of hydropower potential in Turkey. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2014;39:498-508.
[2] Hajinezhad A, Abedi S, Ghobadian B, Noorollahi Y. Biodiesel production from Norouzak (Salvia lerifolia) seeds as an indigenous source of bio fuel in Iran using ultrasound. Energy Conversion and Management. 2015;99:132-40.
[3] Brown A, Müller S, Dobrotkova Z. Renewable energy: Markets and prospects by technology. IEA information paper. 2011.
[4] Ferreira JHI, Camacho JR, Malagoli JA, Júnior SCG. Assessment of the potential of small hydropower development in Brazil. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2016;56:380-7.
[5] Paish O. Small hydro power: technology and current status. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews. 2002;6(6):537-56.
[6] Dursun B, Gokcol C. The role of hydroelectric power and contribution of small hydropower plants for sustainable development in Turkey. Renewable Energy. 2011;36(4):1227-35.
[7] Kusre B, Baruah D, Bordoloi P, Patra S. Assessment of hydropower potential using GIS and hydrological modeling technique in Kopili River basin in Assam (India). Applied Energy. 2010;87(1):298-309.
[8] Yi C-S, Lee J-H, Shim M-P. Site location analysis for small hydropower using geo-spatial information system. Renewable Energy. 2010;35(4):852-61.
[9] Goyal MK, Singh V, Meena AH. Geospatial and hydrological modeling to assess hydropower potential zones and site location over rainfall dependent Inland catchment. Water Resources Management. 2015;29(8):2875-94.
[10] Larentis DG, Collischonn W, Olivera F, Tucci CE. Gis-based procedures for hydropower potential spotting. Energy. 2010;35(10):4237-43.
[11] Belmonte S, Núñez V, Viramonte J, Franco J. Potential renewable energy resources of the Lerma Valley, Salta, Argentina for its strategic territorial planning. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2009;13(6):1475-84.
[12] Carroll G, Reeves K, Lee R, Cherry S, editors. Evaluation of potential hydropower sites throughout the United States. ESRI User Conference; 2004: Citeseer.
[13] Pokharel S. Spatial analysis of rural energy system. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 2000;14(8):855-73.
[14] Ramachandra T, Kumar R, Jha S, Vamsee K, Shruthi B. Spatial decision support system for assessing micro, mini and small hydel potential. Journal of Applied Sciences. 2004;4(4):596-604.
[15] Das S, Paul P. Selection of site for small hydel using GIS in the Himalayan region of India. Journal of Spatial Hydrology. 2006;6(1).
[16] Kosa P, Kulworawanichpong T, Srivoramas R, Chinkulkijniwat A, Horpibulsuk S, Teaumroong N. The potential micro-hydropower projects in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand. Renewable Energy. 2011;36(3):1133-7.
[17] Ohunakin OS, Ojolo SJ, Ajayi OO. Small hydropower (SHP) development in Nigeria: an assessment. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2011;15(4):2006-13.
[18] Kucukali S, Baris K. Assessment of small hydropower (SHP) development in Turkey: Laws, regulations and EU policy perspective. Energy policy. 2009;37(10):3872-9.
[19] Kosnik L. The potential for small scale hydropower development in the US. Energy Policy. 2010;38(10):5512-9.
[20] Hall D. Water Energy Resources of the United States with Emphasis on Low Head/Low Power Resources: Appendix B-Assessment Results by State. EERE Publication and Product Library, 2004.
[21] Ghorashi AH, Rahimi A. Renewable and non-renewable energy status in Iran: Art of know-how and technology-gaps. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2011;15(1):729-36.
[22] Mazandarani A, Mahlia T, Chong W, Moghavvemi M. A review on the pattern of electricity generation and emission in Iran from 1967 to 2008. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2010;14(7):1814-29.
[23] Kurdistan Regional Water Authority. Cited 10 Jan 2016. Available from:
[24] Satkin M, Noorollahi Y, Abbaspour M, Yousefi H. Multi criteria site selection model for wind-compressed air energy storage power plants in Iran. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2014;32:579-90.
[25] Gass V, Schmidt J, Strauss F, Schmid E. Assessing the economic wind power potential in Austria. Energy policy. 2013;53:323-30.
[26] Noorollahi Y, Yousefi H, Mohammadi M. Multi-criteria decision support system for wind farm site selection using GIS. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments. 2016;13:38-50.
[27] Office of Legal Affairs MoE. Transmission and distribution of electricity airlines privacy. Cited 10 Jan 2016. Available from:
Volume 4, Issue 1
March 2017
Pages 275-286
  • Receive Date: 24 October 2016
  • Revise Date: 07 February 2017
  • Accept Date: 13 February 2017
  • First Publish Date: 21 March 2017