Hydropower and other renewable energy sources: Integration and Planning amid the Water-Energy Nexus
The transition to a low-carbon economy and programs of nuclear power phase-out will require the development of innovative methods to integrate renewable sources of energy while minimizing the additional pressure on closely connected ecosystems.
Hydropower is a mature and cost-competitive renewable energy source, which helps stabilize fluctuations between energy demand and supply. Depending on the relative capacities of the intermittent renewables and hydropower facilities, integration may require changes in the way hydropower facilities operate to provide balancing, reserves or energy storage. Moreover, non-power constraints on the hydropower system, such as irrigation water deliveries, environmental constraints, recreation, and flood control tend to reduce the ability of hydropower to integrate variable renewable. In this context, energy production relies on reliable short and long term predictions of the temporal availability and the quality of natural resources (water, wind, solar power etc).
This session solicits contributions that describe, characterize, or model distributed renewable energy sources at different spatial and temporal scales that are relevant for the electricity systems, their interactions, their planning and management. Spatial scales range from point scale (i.e. stand-alone system) to national and international scales. Temporal scales range from minutes to decades. Special attention will be devoted to the interactions between the energy-water system and the climate and hydrological variables that govern production in space and time. Of particular interest are case studies and other contributions of hydrology and power grid modernization initiatives to understand these complex interdependencies. The development of new modeling approaches to analyze interactions with climate-policy and power grid management options, socio-economic mitigation measures and land use are welcome, including experimental work to understand how energy production affects ecosystems.
We hope that the contributions to this session will highlight how hydrology and closely related methods can contribute to address urgent challenges in this field.
Questions of interest include:
- How to predict water availability for hydropower production?
- How to predict and quantify the space-time dependences and the positive/negative feedbacks between wind/solar energies, water cycle and hydropower?
- How to predict and quantify the influence of climate change on climate-related energies and the energy demand?
- How to quantify the relevant impacts on the hydropower sector?
- What energy-source transitions occur in view of climate and global change? How can they be modelled? How do energy, land use and water supply interact during transitions?
- How socio-economic aspects can be taken into account when modelling renewable energy sources?
- What policy requirements or climate strategies are needed to manage and mitigate risks in the transition?
- Quantification of energy production impacts on ecosystems such as hydropeaking effects on natural flow regimes, quantification of residual flow impacts on river ecosystems.