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pubblicazioni - Presentazione

Hydropower and climate change the Dora Baltea case study

pubblicazioni - Presentazione

Hydropower and climate change the Dora Baltea case study

Nella memoria sono illustrati i risultati delle attività condotte da RSE nell’ambito del progetto ACQWA nell’ultimo anno. Il progetto ACQWA è finalizzato alla valutazione degli effetti climatici attesi in aree montuose e, specificatamente, sulle Alpi. Utilizzando le previsioni fornite da un modello climatico regionale e dalle simulazioni idrologiche, sono stati calcolati i futuri afflussi alle prese idroelettriche e, attraverso un modello del funzionamento del parco idroelettrico nella Regione Valle d’Aosta, si sono calcolati gli effetti sulla produzione idroelettrica e sulla gestione dei relativi serbatoi, assumendo un profilo di domanda di energia invariato rispetto alle condizioni attuali. I principali risultati sono i seguenti:

•Nel complesso si prevede una diminuzione della produzione di energia idroelettrica del 10% e questa diminuzione è statisticamente significativa
•Ci sono indicazioni di alcune variazioni nella modulazione lungo l’anno (produzione mensile, tempi di picchi)
•Il deficit d’acqua è previsto un aumento
•Per quanto riguarda i serbatoi idroelettrici: aumento della variabilità interannuale di volumi invasati
•Per quanto riguarda gli impianti ad acqua fluente: aumento delle ore di inattività dell’impianto a causa della mancanza di acqua

L’anno prossimo lo studio verrà esteso per tener conto delle possibili variazioni nella domanda di energia.

Among the issues that are most relevant in the study of climate change, hydropower plays a double role. On one hand, it will be affected by the change in water availability feeding hydropower plants. On the other hand, as the present major source of renewable energy, an effort must be performed in order to maintain or, if possible, increase hydropower production. The aim of this activity is the study of the impact of expected climate change and of future scenarios of energy demand on reservoir management, in order to assess the variations in hydropower production and identify the possible changes in reservoir management. Our activity has been focused on the development and application of a model for the simulation of the management of a complex hydropower system as a function of climate conditions and power demand. The main inputs of the model are:

1. Characteristic of HydroPower Plants (HPPs)
2. Water availability
3. Energy demandThe model allows us to compute the power output and the water storage in reservoirs.

During past years, this approach has been applied to the hydropower system in Regione Valle d’Aosta (IT). A conceptual scheme of the hydropower system was developed and the methodology was validated against historical data. During 2011 – 2012, we have obtained from ETHZ the results of hydrological simulations for 2001-2050. The dataset consists of hourly data of natural runoff in 22 points of the stream network for five different simulations of the same climatic scenario. ENEL provide us with a time series of present electricity price in Italy.From these data, we computed bi-hourly inflow to hydropower derivation points. We use these data in order to simulate the effect of the hydrological forcing only on power generation and reservoir management. This means that in our management model we use the expected water availability for next years but we maintain the present energy demand (represented in the model by energy prices). We run five different simulations with 2-hours time step for every year, and then we computed ensemble means of relevant results.Main results are:

• Overall hydropower production is expected to decrease of 10 % and this decrease is statistically significant
• There are indications of some variations in the modulation across the year (monthly production, timing of peaks)
• Water deficits is expected to increase
• For Reservoir: increase of interannual variability of storage volumes
• Run-of-river plants: increase of plant shutdown time due to lack of waterOf course, climate change is expected to affect energy demand, too. In the next year we are going to study the combined effect of different energy prices and hydrological forcing on power generation and reservoir management.

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