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Afghanistan's aspirations for energy independence: Water resources and hydropower energy

Danish, Mir Sayed Shah, Senjyu, Tomonobu, Sabory, Najib Rahman, Danish, Sayed Mir Shah, Ludin, Gul Ahmad, Noorzad, Ahmad Samim, Yona, Atsushi
Renewable energy 2017 v.113 pp. 1276-1287
basins, electricity, electricity generation, irrigation, politics, rivers, socioeconomic development, sustainable development, water potential, water power, Afghanistan
This paper presents the historical developments (since 1893) and opportunities for the future direction of water resources and hydropower in Afghanistan. The importance of water resources for hydropower energy production and irrigation, to ensure national security and prosperous socioeconomic development, is also addressed. At present, Afghanistan relies heavily on electricity imported from neighboring countries (80%, Breshna Sherkat, 2016). However, Afghanistan is endowed with substantial renewable energy resources. Among these, water potential is the main clean source available for electricity generation and irrigation. The water resources of Afghanistan mainly comprise five major basins (36 sub-rivers), and the rivers of three of these basins flow into neighboring countries, which has caused water resource trans-boundary disputes and is a challenge for the government of Afghanistan. The lessons learned from past trends, and recommendations for future development related to Afghan water resources and hydropower, are discussed. The establishment of sustainable development practices that account for social, technical, technological, political, and environmental concerns for long-term sustainability is evaluated. In the future, renewable energy technology exploitation will contribute to emerging economies. This study is the first of its kind to address water resources and hydropower development in Afghanistan.