EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Valuing feedback mechanisms between water and energy systems in hydropower networks

Rachel Koh1, Jordan Kern2, AFM Kamal Chowdhury3, and Stefano Galelli1
Rachel Koh et al.
  • 1Pillar of Engineering Systems and Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore, Singapore
  • 2Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, North Carolina, United States
  • 3Environmental Studies Department, University of California Santa Barbara, California, United States

Multi-sector modelling frameworks are fundamental platforms for exploring the complex interactions between the water and energy sectors. While acknowledging the pivotal role of hydropower within the energy system, it is essential to understand the feedback mechanisms between power and water systems to guide the design of hydropower operations and enhance water-energy management strategies. With this in mind, we developed a modelling framework hinged on a bidirectional coupling between water and power system models. We simulate the constraints imposed by water availability on grid operations as well as the feedback between the state of the energy and water systems. For example, the framework explicitly accounts for conditions of hydropower oversupply, during which part of the water could be stored in reservoirs or allocated to other sectors. The flexibility added to the system gives operators control over desired reservoirs, and allows the system to exploit the benefits warranted by a more efficient use of renewable energy. We evaluate the framework on a real-world case study based on the Cambodian grid, which relies on hydro, solar, and thermoelectric resources. In our analysis, we demonstrate that managing hydropower reservoirs with the feedback mechanism in mind allows us to improve system’s performance—evaluated in terms of power production costs and CO2 emissions. Overall, our work contributes a novel modelling tool for climate-water-energy nexus studies, working towards an optimal integration of hydropower and other renewable energy sources into power systems.

How to cite: Koh, R., Kern, J., Chowdhury, A. K., and Galelli, S.: Valuing feedback mechanisms between water and energy systems in hydropower networks, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9919,, 2021.


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