Climate change and hydrological analysis of Tekeze river basin Ethiopia: implication for potential hydropower production
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Water and Climate Change. 2019, . 10.2166/wcc.2019.203
Climate change is expected to intensify the hydropower production in East Africa. This research investigates the runoff and energy production in the current and future climate for the Tekeze hydropower plant located in the Tekeze river basin in the northern part of Ethiopia. The rainfall-runoff model HBV and the hydropower simulator nMAG were used to generate runoff and energy production in the current and future climate. A combination of five regional climate models and seven global climate models from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment were used to generate bias-corrected scenarios for the future climate. The result shows an increase in future runoff which was shown to be due to an increase in precipitation. However, the current operational strategy of the power plant did not utilize the future runoff in an optimal way. Therefore, based on the projected future inflow, we have developed a new reservoir operational strategy to preserve water for power production. As a result, the energy production was increased, and the flood spill from the reservoir reduced. This shows the need to adapt the hydropower production system to the future flow regimes to get the most out of the available water.