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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2211;

The Small-Scale Hydropower Plants in Sites of Environmental Value: An Italian Case Study

Department of Civil, Architecture, Environmental Engineering, University of Studies of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)
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Since ancient times water has been accompanying technological change in the energy sector. Used as a source of hydraulic energy, it currently generates one-fifth of the global electricity production. However, according to collective imagination, hydroelectric plants are constructions of high environmental, acoustic, and visual impact, which may harm the preservation of the territory. This paper intends to address the topic of mini-hydropower that, in addition to providing the production of renewable energy, ensures a limited environmental impact even in delicate contexts with high landscape values, by elaborating a research methodology that makes these interventions compatible with them. The process of “global compatibility” checks developed to assess the feasibility of the intervention will be explained in the paper. We intend to describe here the research process undertaken to make the planning of this type of system sustainable, in contexts that need to be rehabilitated in relation both to the accessibility of citizens and to the environmental enhancement. The intervention planned will be characterized by the combined use of other renewable energy sources, in addition to water. The proposed methodology has been tested on a case study in the village of Roccacasale, in the province of L’Aquila. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroelectric energy; small-scale hydropower; compatibility; renewable energy hydroelectric energy; small-scale hydropower; compatibility; renewable energy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rotilio, M.; Marchionni, C.; De Berardinis, P. The Small-Scale Hydropower Plants in Sites of Environmental Value: An Italian Case Study. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2211.

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