Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1315–1333 | Cite as

Sustainability assessment and ranking of run of the river (RoR) hydropower projects using analytical hierarchy process (AHP): A study from Western Himalayan region of India

  • Deepak KumarEmail author
  • Surjit Singh Katoch


In the present scenario, tapping the unutilised hydropower potential is one of the highest priorities in developing countries of the world. Special emphasis is being imparted to run of the river (RoR) mode of power generation. However, the governments are now facing the dilemma whether to promote small hydropower projects (SHPs) or encourage large hydropower projects (LHPs). RoR large hydropower projects result into large scale cutting of mountains for constructing tunnels and access roads, generation of huge quantity of muck and large scale impact on flora and fauna due to diversion of rivers/streams. On the other hand, though SHPs are claimed to be greener and more sustainable by a section of researchers and energy planners but, they will be required to be set up in large number to generate equivalent amount of electricity. The aim of this study is to rank the most sustainable installed capacity range of RoR hydropower projects. To achieve this aim, the study proposes the use of quite popular multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) method of Operation Research named Analytical Hierarchy Process. A case study has been presented from Himachal Pradesh, a hydro rich state located in the western Himalayan region. As per sustainability assessment carried out in this study, hydropower projects in the capacity range 1 to 5 MW have been ranked to be the most sustainable.


Sustainability Run of the river Hydropower project Analytical Hierarchy Process Himalaya 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Energy and Environmental EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologyHamirpurIndia

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