Hydropower plants have the potential to significantly accelerate the transition towards clean energy, while also providing environmental protection and ensuring a stable and reliable power supply. Furthermore, given that rivers can be exploited for hydroelectric power, it is possible to construct multiple hydropower plants on a given river system. However, the decision-making process for implementing cascade hydropower plants (HPPs) in sustainable energy models is complex due to various decision variables and optimization challenges.
To address this complexity, a cascading HPP model has been developed with a detailed consideration of demand, cost, and energy sources to enable policymakers to make informed decisions on a regional and national scale. The model is built using the open-source energy modelling system (OSeMOSYS) due to its flexibility, functionality, and proven reputation. The model, documentation, and test sample are publicly available on Read the Docs and GitHub representing tools, guidelines, and structures for cascade HPPs modelling. To demonstrate the efficacy of the developed model, it has been successfully applied to the Nam Ou river in the Lao PDR. This river system features seven cascaded hydropower plants (HPPs) and is situated in a country that possesses abundant hydro facilities, making it a prominent producer and exporter of electricity in Southeast Asia.