keywords: Hydropower, Ekiti state, RETSCREEN software, rivers
The present electricity demand in Nigeria has been estimated as 20000 MW; only about 4000 MW could be generated despite all efforts. This has subsequently led to serious energy crisis in Nigeria. This study was carried out to assess the hydropower potential of the Ekiti State. Ten rivers and nine water supply schemes with dams built were visited and then assessed in terms of hydropower cost and likely revenue. A detailed financial analysis was carried out for the proposed hydropower in each of the location. Thereafter the viability of each proposed hydropower was determined based on the expected payback years using RETSCREEN software. From the study, the rivers average flow rates in Ekiti state were in the range of 25 – 70 m3/s while the head range from 2.5 – 6 m. Thus all the existing rivers in the State can only sustain mini/pico hydropower scheme ranging from 42 - 190 kW. However five of the nine existing water supply schemes can produce about 270MW which is enough for the state at its present energy demand. Financial analysis showed that only eight of the existing small rivers can sustain viable hydropower project, whereas all the existing water supply schemes are viable with payback on the average about 4 years. However the investment outlay is enormous. The study therefore concludes that in the light of the available information, hydropower can be fully exploited in the State. While tapping from the existing water supply appears promising, exploiting from the small rivers should not be ignored as many communities are located in the rural areas that may not be easily connected via transmission lines from a far- reached hydropower plant.
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