Multicriterion analysis of hydropower operation

L. Duckstein, A. Tecle, H. P. Nachnebel, B. F. Hobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Two real-life examples are presented to show how multicriterion decision-making (MCDM) techniques can help hydropower engineers mitigate the environmental and social effects of hydropower development and operation. A brief introduction and overview of MCDM is presented, consisting of an 11-step process that starts with problem definition and ends with implementation. A typology of MCDM is provided, dividing the techniques into three groups: outranking, distance-based, and value- or utility-based types. The operation of the Upper Isar River project in Bavaria is analyzed by means of a value technique and an outranking technique called multicriterion Q-analysis. Fourteen criteria are considered in that study, including power production, habitat quality for four groups of species, aesthetics, several recreation indices, minimum flows, and phosphorus loadings. The case study of the Erlauf River Division in Austria is evaluated using a distance-based technique, called composite programming, combined with Monte Carlo simulation. An outcome of that study is that the facility’s owners have increased the minimum instream flow in order to protect ecological values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-153
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Energy Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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