Economic and Environmental Analysis of the Small Hydropower Plants Development

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D., candidate of Oil and Gas Economics –Economic faculty- Allameh Tabatabaei University

2 Associated Professor, Dep. of Renewable Energies and Environmental Eng., Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran

3 Associated Professor, Faculty of Economics, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


The necessity to preserve the environment and the depletion of fossil fuels for energy production have concerned human attention to the use of alternative and renewable sources. Hence, hydropower plants development is one of the solutions that are using in countries. Since the hydropower plants division into small and large scale, economic and environmental factors plays an important role in choosing the optimal scale of hydropower plants.
In this study, an analytical and comparative method use in order to determine the economic and environmental effect of the construction of small hydropower plants and their comparison with large hydropower plants. The results indicate that small hydropower plants; in addition to being able to use the minimum potential of water; are economically and environmentally advantages of in comparison with large hydropower plants. Some of the main advantages of small hydropower plants that differentiate them from large hydropower plants are: low investment costs, shorter construction time, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the proper dispersal of units, enabling capacity for technology transfer and private sector investment capability. These advantages have led small hydropower to be considered as a good alternative to large hydropower plants.


Main Subjects

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Volume 4, Issue 4
January 2018
Pages 1255-1268
  • Receive Date: 18 April 2017
  • Revise Date: 08 August 2017
  • Accept Date: 11 August 2017
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2017