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Estimating the external benefit on landscape of the release of reserved flow from hydroelectric diversions

pubblicazioni - Memoria

Estimating the external benefit on landscape of the release of reserved flow from hydroelectric diversions

The requirement of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) of maintaining the hydraulic and ecological continuity of rivers in Italy has been partially implemented by the entry into force of the norms which impose the release of the reserved flow at any surface water diversion. The flow to be released is defined according to the rule established locally by the Regional Authority on the basis of what suggested by the River Basin Authority. Among other positive effects, the release of reserved flow improves rivers landscape and fruition. In this paper we estimate the external benefit due to those improvement. On the other hand, the release of reserved flow means also reduced electricity production from hydropower. This means that more electricity production from thermal fossil fuel power plant, causing external environmental costs. In this paper we also compare the external benefit of low flow alleviation with external cost of the additional production of electricity from fossil fuel in order to understand whether or not the environmental benefit exceed the environmental costs.

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