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Environmental flows or economic woes-Hydropower under global energy market changes

Schillinger, Moritz and Weigt, Hannes and Hirsch, Philipp Emanuel. (2020) Environmental flows or economic woes-Hydropower under global energy market changes. PLOS ONE, 15 (8). ARTN e0236730.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/79117/

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Abstract

The global energy system changes towards renewables-dominated and liberalized markets. This requires making novel trade-offs between the profitable development of hydropower and its environmental effects on the natural flow regime. Here, we used a pristine river as a model for how these future changes will affect the natural flow regime and identify future changes on previously overlooked levels. We found that damming and discharging based on market prices leads to first- and second-level deviation from natural flows. Beyond these effects, we identified a third level of distance from natural flow. This third level is created by the transition towards a renewables-dominated energy system. The volatile energy input from renewables incentivizes hydropower plant operators to discharge based on more flexible trading behavior. We conclude that novel economic models be combined with tailored implementations of environmental flows. This will allow to find novel solutions for the trade-off between market liberalization and sustainable hydropower development.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften
UniBasel Contributors:Hirsch, Philipp
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:13 Jan 2022 10:16
Deposited On:13 Jan 2022 10:16

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