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Energies 2016, 9(3), 191; doi:10.3390/en9030191

Climate Change and Increased Irrigation Demands: What Is Left for Hydropower Generation? Results from Two Semi-Arid Basins

1
Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), S.P. Andersens veg 5, Trondheim NO-7491, Norway
2
SINTEF Energy Research, Sem Sælands vei 11, Trondheim NO-7465, Norway
3
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Davis, CA 95616, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Juan Ignacio Pérez-Díaz
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 14 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydropower)
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Abstract

In this study, we have modelled the effect of climate change and increased irrigation withdrawals on the available water for hydropower production in two semi-arid river basins, i.e., Kizilirmak (Turkey) and Devoll (Albania), and the role of the reservoirs. The combined effect of climate change and extended irrigation withdrawals will overall lead to reduced runoff in the rivers, according to our simulations. The changes will be most dramatic at Kizilirmak, reducing the water available for hydropower production. The presence of the reservoirs will lead to extended water use/losses due to the provision of regulated flow, enabling larger irrigation withdrawals and increasing the evaporative losses from the reservoir surfaces. Comparing the water consumption losses at Kizilirmak, the irrigation losses are in the range of 2–4 times larger than the gross evaporation losses from reservoir surfaces. The reservoirs at Devoll will improve water availability for hydropower production during low flow periods, and the upstream irrigation represents presently a low risk to the downstream power producers. As the results are sensitive to specific river basin characteristics and the assumptions made, the results cannot be generalized to other river basins without taking these specifics into consideration. View Full-Text
Keywords: water availability; hydropower production; reservoirs; climate change; runoff; irrigation water availability; hydropower production; reservoirs; climate change; runoff; irrigation
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Bakken, T.H.; Almestad, C.; Melhuus Rugelbak, J.; Escobar, M.; Micko, S.; Alfredsen, K. Climate Change and Increased Irrigation Demands: What Is Left for Hydropower Generation? Results from Two Semi-Arid Basins. Energies 2016, 9, 191.

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