Title: Scaling up the stagnant small-scale hydropower capacities in European Union
Publisher: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC107279
ISBN: 978-618-5271-15-2
URI: http://cemepe6.civil.auth.gr/
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Small and medium-scale hydropower systems have been in the core plans of the European Union to move towards cleaner power production. Despite the plans for a steady growth of the installed capacities, progress has been rather limited. Such systems have technical advantages due to their flexible operation and are of particular value for the power systems. Especially in mountainous areas small hydropower systems (SHP) can play an important role. Electrification of remote areas may face challenges, even in areas connected to the main grid. Power transmission from long distances may be affected by extreme weather conditions and aged equipment. Equally important, the aged infrastructure cannot absorb large amounts of power produced by local renewable energy systems. Upgrading the local grid infrastructure in such areas is often not an economically viable option. This study builds on the observation that non-powered dams (NPD) are often located in such areas to cover e.g. irrigation needs. Transforming these dams to SHPs can enhance the local energy portfolio with a renewable energy source that can be regulated and managed. Optimizing the operation of the SHP allows the connection of higher capacities of solar photovoltaic systems (SPVS). In this article, we present a methodology that streamlines this approach. The model was applied in a remote area of Greece, near an existing earth-fill NPD. The results show that dam’s transformation decreased the dependency to the grid by 50% and significantly enhanced communities’ electricity autarky.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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