28 of June 2017

Mapping of small scale hydropower potential in 14 ECOWAS countries

Working in conjunction with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in particular, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), Pöyry has mapped the small scale hydropower potential in 14 ECOWAS countries (excluding Cape Verde) using the latest geographic information system (GIS) technology.
The groundbreaking data, which maps the hydrological conditions, the hydropower potential as well as climate change information for more than 500,000 river reaches, will be utilised by stakeholders in each country to identify and implement vital hydropower projects, as the region seeks to develop reliable and sustainable long-term solutions to the energy challenge. 

Up to recently the potential for small scale hydropower in West Africa has neither been known in detail nor been exploited - only some 50 hydropower plants are operational in the region. A strategic development of the hydropower resources in most ECOWAS countries has been constrained by economic conditions but also by the lack of information on river flow, river topography and hydropower potential, especially in the headwater regions of the West African river systems. Also, uncertainty with respect to the possible impact of climate change on water availability and hydropower production is considered a risk by potential hydropower investors. The ECREEE hydropower maps significantly improve the database for small hydropower development in the region and also provide valuable information for medium and large projects.

The results of this study were summarized in 14 country reports, including the results of the GIS layers for Guinea-Bissau and addresses:


  • General information
  • Climate
  • Hydrology
  • Hydropower potential
  • Climate change

Access the Guinea-Bissau Country Report here.