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Special Issue "Role of Hydropower for Sustainable Future Energy System: Synergies, Challenges and Development"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A3: Wind, Wave and Tidal Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 8805
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Special Issue Editors

Dr. Epari Ritesh Patro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: hydropower; water-energy-nexus; hydrology; sedimentation; precipitation dynamics; energy systems modeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydropower has provided undoubted benefits to the people, contributing to mitigate increasingly frequent water crises, supply clear and renewable energy, and reduce hydraulic risk, among others. At the same time, hydropower has an impact on the environment and society. There is a consensus within the hydropower industry that climate change is already impacting its operation worldwide. There is a strong impetus to increase renewable energy production and hydropower can make an important contribution to this. Water and energy are interlinked, therefore benefits to be gained from integrated resource operation will be key to improving resource utilization efficiencies. Advances in operational modelling approaches that capture synergies between water-energy systems are indispensable. Much remains to be explored in terms of flexibility, scalability, water, and energy resource allocation. Globally, many countries have been changing environmental policies on various hydropower constraints such as minimum flow release, ageing infrastructure, aquatic life, flood risk, irrigation, and recreational water demand. Moreover, this along with increasing penetration of intermittent renewables will affect the operations of hydropower to provide balancing or energy storage. The goal of this Special Issue is to collect perspectives on the future of hydropower as it characterizes, describes, or models hydropower systems at different temporal and spatial scales relevant for planning, operation, and management of electricity systems. We solicit contributions which merge standpoints from various disciplines of hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, energy research and development, among others. 

We welcome studies and research which address but are not limited to the following topics:

  • interactions between the hydropower energy-water with respect to climate and hydrological variables
  • climate-policy, power grid management options, socio-economic mitigation measures and land use
  • hydropower policy developments or business innovations
  • decision support systems and optimization modelling for hydropower
  • quantifying the impacts of hydropower production on ecosystems
  • predicting complementarity of hydropower with wind/solar
  • application of new tools, such as remote sensing techniques, to accumulate environmental dataset for hydropower planning, operation, and monitoring

Dr. Epari Ritesh Patro
Prof. Dr. Carlo De Michele
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • hydropower
  • renewables
  • water-energy nexus
  • optimization
  • energy storage
  • climate change
  • water availability
  • electricity market
  • revenue
  • river network
  • tradeoff
  • sediment

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Investigation of the Effect of Climate Change on Energy Produced by Hydroelectric Power Plants (HEPPs) by Trend Analysis Method: A Case Study for Dogancay I–II HEPPs
Energies 2022, 15(7), 2474; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15072474 - 28 Mar 2022
Viewed by 421
Abstract
One of the most important measures taken in reducing the impact of climate change resulting from global warming is the production of energy from clean and renewable resources. Hydroelectric power plants are leading renewable energy sources. In this study, the effects of climate [...] Read more.
One of the most important measures taken in reducing the impact of climate change resulting from global warming is the production of energy from clean and renewable resources. Hydroelectric power plants are leading renewable energy sources. In this study, the effects of climate change on hydroelectric power plants, a renewable energy source, have been investigated. Dogancay I and II Hydroelectric Power Plants, which are built on the Sakarya River located in the Sakarya basin of Turkey, was selected as a study area. Moreover, the monthly average energy, runoff, and efficiency parameters of hydroelectric power plants and the monthly average precipitation, temperature, and humidity physical parameters of the Sakarya province, which is a working area, were considered. The length of time-series data is 48 months (2015–2018). Analysis of the data was performed with the innovative polygon trend analysis (IPTA) method, which is one of the newest trend analysis methods. When the studies in the literature are examined, the IPTA method is applied to hydroelectric energy data for the first time thanks to this study. Therefore, it is thought that this study will contribute a great deal to the literature. As a result of this study, a generally decreasing trend was observed in IPTA graphs of energy, flow, and efficiency parameters. In terms of the physical parameters of rainfall, temperature, and humidity, there was a decreasing trend in rainfall and humidity graphs and no trend in temperatures was observed. Full article
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Article
Politicization of the Hydropower Dams in the Lancang-Mekong Basin: A Review of Contemporary Environmental Challenges
Energies 2022, 15(5), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15051682 - 24 Feb 2022
Viewed by 595
Abstract
To date, hydropower dams raise numerous interpretations about their impact on the Lancang-Mekong River. While most research studies analyze the negative aspects of hydropower development on people’s livelihoods and local environments, the hydropower sector was historically one of the most iconic economic segments [...] Read more.
To date, hydropower dams raise numerous interpretations about their impact on the Lancang-Mekong River. While most research studies analyze the negative aspects of hydropower development on people’s livelihoods and local environments, the hydropower sector was historically one of the most iconic economic segments facilitating transboundary water cooperation for decades. By using the constructive discourse analysis and critical political ecology approach, the presented text (1) outlines the current environmental narratives over the Lancang-Mekong hydropower development and (2) explores the politicization of the Chinese mainstream dams. The data were collected upon the multi-level content analysis of relevant sources and double-checked with the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and Conflict Database (LMCCD) monitoring over 4000 water-related events among six riparian countries between 1990 and 2021. Our data show that (i) there is a stark contrast in positive and negative narratives over the rapid hydropower development, (ii) the impact of mainstream dams on the river is more often discussed than that of tributary dams, (iii) implications of the hydropower dams are often interpreted upon the non-traditional research inputs rather than widely accepted studies, and (iv) developing the contradictory arguments through social and public media contributes to greater polarization of the multi-stakeholders’ viewpoints in the accountable research dialogue. Full article
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Article
Levelized Cost of Electricity Generation by Small Hydropower Projects under Clean Development Mechanism in India
Energies 2022, 15(4), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15041473 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 503
Abstract
Contrary to conventional fossil fuel-based electricity generation technologies, renewable energy centered technologies, specifically small hydropower, release a lesser amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gases but are normally more expensive. A major segment of the capital investment in the current small hydropower scenario accounts for [...] Read more.
Contrary to conventional fossil fuel-based electricity generation technologies, renewable energy centered technologies, specifically small hydropower, release a lesser amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gases but are normally more expensive. A major segment of the capital investment in the current small hydropower scenario accounts for equipment and construction process costs. The construction and cost administration process are generally limited to analysis of the capital cost of civil constructions, electro-mechanical equipment works, neglecting the costs related to operating and maintaining the plant, replacement or refurbishment, certified emission reductions, among others. Contemporary studies indicate that these costs form a substantial fraction of the total capital investment. Consequently, for cost management and investment decision making, small hydropower plant developers are drawing increased attention in recent years towards conducting life cycle costing studies that take into account the ignored costs. In addition, small hydropower plants in developing nations can become more competitive by trading the emission reductions achieved under the provision of the Clean Development Mechanism, an outcome of the Kyoto Protocol proposed at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this paper, a modest attempt has been made to determine the Levelized cost of electricity generation using life cycle costing methodology, which accounts for all the costs over operating lifetime on a range of small hydropower plants and the results are analyzed. Full article
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Article
Directions and Extent of Flows Changes in Warta River Basin (Poland) in the Context of the Efficiency of Run-of-River Hydropower Plants and the Perspectives for Their Future Development
Energies 2022, 15(2), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15020439 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 413
Abstract
This paper presents changes in the flow of 14 rivers located in the Warta River basin, recorded from 1951 to 2020. The Warta is the third-longest river in Poland. Unfortunately, the Warta River catchment area is one of the most water-scarce regions. It [...] Read more.
This paper presents changes in the flow of 14 rivers located in the Warta River basin, recorded from 1951 to 2020. The Warta is the third-longest river in Poland. Unfortunately, the Warta River catchment area is one of the most water-scarce regions. It hosts about 150 hydropower plants with a capacity of up to 5 kW. The catchment areas of the 14 smaller rivers selected for the study differ in location, size, land cover structure and geological structure. The paper is the first study of this type with respect to both the number of analyzed catchments, the length of the sampling series and the number of analyzed flow characteristics in this part of Europe. The analysis of changes in the river flows was performed with reference to low minimum, mean and maximum monthly, seasonal and annual flows. Particular attention was paid to 1, 3, 7, 30 and 90-day low flows and durations of the flows between Q50 and Q90%. In addition, the duration of flows between Q50 and Q90% were analysed. Analysis of the direction and extent of particular flow types was performed by multitemporal analysis using the Mann–Kendall (MK) and Sen (S) tests. The analysis of multiannual flow sequences from the years 1951–2020 showed that the changes varied over the time periods and catchments. The most significant changes occurred in the low flows, while the least significant changes occurred in the high flows. From the point of view of the operation of the hydropower sector, these changes may be unfavourable and result in a reduction in the efficiency of run-of-river hydropower plants. It was established that local factors play a dominant role in the shaping of river flows in both positive and negative terms, for the efficiency of the hydropower plants. Full article
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Article
Evolution of Hydropower Support Schemes in Poland and Their Assessment Using the LCOE Method
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8473; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248473 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 630
Abstract
Hydropower as stable power installations play an important role among renewable energy sources. Yet, their share in renewable energy is small. Currently, it is only 10% of energy from renewable energy sources (RES), compared to 27% in 2010. Therefore, the aim of this [...] Read more.
Hydropower as stable power installations play an important role among renewable energy sources. Yet, their share in renewable energy is small. Currently, it is only 10% of energy from renewable energy sources (RES), compared to 27% in 2010. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to assess the RES support schemes in Poland related to hydropower, such as green certificates, auctions and FIT, with the use of the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) analysis in order to determine which support scheme is best incentivizing hydropower development. The evolution of the hydropower support scheme in Poland is presented. The total LCOE and possible revenues from support systems for various segments of hydropower installations are graphically analyzed for two analysis periods (15 and 50 years) and for two discount rates (7% and 11.4%). The analysis shows the great importance of the support schemes in the profitability of the hydropower plants investments. The LCOE graphical analysis proves to be suitable for showing sensitivity analysis of capital and operating costs of various sizes of hydropower plants. The analysis shows that the LCOE in micro-power plants is usually higher than the support and revenues available in the green certificates or auctions or FIT schemes in Poland. Full article
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Article
Combined Method of Flow-Reduced Dump Load for Frequency Control of an Autonomous Micro-Hydropower in AC Microgrids
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8059; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238059 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Nowadays, microgrids (MGs) play a crucial role in modern power systems due to possibility of integrating renewable energies into grid-connected or islanded power systems. The Load Frequency Control (LFC) is an issue of paramount importance to ensure MGs reliable and safe operation. Specifically, [...] Read more.
Nowadays, microgrids (MGs) play a crucial role in modern power systems due to possibility of integrating renewable energies into grid-connected or islanded power systems. The Load Frequency Control (LFC) is an issue of paramount importance to ensure MGs reliable and safe operation. Specifically, in AC MGs, primary frequency control of each energy source can be guaranteed in order to integrate other energy sources. This paper proposes a micro-hydro frequency control scheme, combining the control of a reduced dump load and the nozzle flow control of Pelton turbines operating in autonomous regime. Some works have reported the integration of dump load and flow control methods, but they did not reduce the dump load value and adjust the nozzle flow linearly to the power value demanded by users, causing the inefficient use of water. Simulation results were obtained in Matlab®/Simulink® using models obtained from previous research and proven by means of experimental studies. The simulation of the proposed scheme shows that the frequency control in this plant is done in correspondence with the Cuban NC62-04 norm of power energy quality. In addition, it is possible to increase energy efficiency by reducing the value of the resistive dump load by up to 7.5% in a case study. The validation result shows a 60% reduction of overshoot and settling time of frequency temporal behavior of the autonomous micro-hydro. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Sediment Pollutants Accumulated in the Vicinity of a Small Hydropower Plant
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5935; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185935 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
Hydropower plants affect the distribution and composition of sediments. The main aim of this study was to analyze the spatial distribution of sediment pollution in the vicinity of a small hydropower plant. The grain composition of the sediments, the content of heavy metals [...] Read more.
Hydropower plants affect the distribution and composition of sediments. The main aim of this study was to analyze the spatial distribution of sediment pollution in the vicinity of a small hydropower plant. The grain composition of the sediments, the content of heavy metals (Cu, Ni, Cr, Zn, Pb, and Cd) and select physicochemical properties (pH, electrolytic conductivity) were tested at 14 points upstream and downstream of the hydropower plant on the Ślęza River in Poland, as well as at reference point. The interactions between the tested parameters were also verified. The results of the conducted analysis show that hydropower plants significantly affect the composition and properties of sediments. Large amounts of sediment are deposited on damming weirs, accumulating heavy metals and other substances. The differences in the concentrations of elements were significant, and Cu, Ni, Cr, Zn and Pb were 8.74, 9.53, 3.63, 8.26 and 6.33 times higher, respectively, than the median value at points upstream of the hydropower plant than downstream. It was shown that the tested parameters of the sediments interact with each other and are correlated; heavy metals showed a synergistic effect, while other parameters configurations showed an antagonistic effect. The higher content of heavy metals upstream of the hydropower plant resulted from the presence of finer sediment—classified as silt—in this section. Downstream of the hydropower plant, there were mainly sands, which showed a lower ability to absorb substances. This work contributes to improving the rational management of the worldwide issue of sediments within dams located in river valleys. Moreover, it is in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, particularly in the fields of clean water and sanitation, clean and available energy, and responsible consumption and production. Full article
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Article
Impact of Hydropower on Air Pollution and Economic Growth in China
Energies 2021, 14(10), 2812; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102812 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
The development of renewable clean energy such as hydropower can not only ensure energy security, but also help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This paper uses the annual data of 30 provinces in China from 2000 to 2017, and constructs a [...] Read more.
The development of renewable clean energy such as hydropower can not only ensure energy security, but also help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This paper uses the annual data of 30 provinces in China from 2000 to 2017, and constructs a dynamic spatial Durbin model and a geographically weighted regression model to empirically test the dynamic impact of hydropower on haze pollution and economic growth at the national and provincial levels. The empirical results show that the promoting effect of hydropower on economic growth in Western China is less than that in Eastern China, which further aggravates the economic development gap between the eastern and western regions. In addition, the suppression effect of hydropower on the haze pollution in the western region is greater than that in the eastern region, where the haze pollution is serious. From the national level, hydropower can promote regional economic growth and inhibit haze pollution, and the spatial spillover effects of these two effects are greater than the local effects, and the long-term impact is greater than the short-term impact. The research conclusions of this paper will help China realize the sustainable development goals of energy saving and emission reduction. Full article
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Article
Hydroelectric Plants and Dams as Industrial Heritage in the Context of Nature-Culture Interrelation: An Overview of Examples in Turkey
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051281 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 732
Abstract
The article investigates nature–culture interrelation over the case studies of hydroelectric plants of the 20th century. In many cases, construction of these structures has evidently resulted in irreversible changes in natural and cultural environments. However, they have also supplied energy for the industrialization [...] Read more.
The article investigates nature–culture interrelation over the case studies of hydroelectric plants of the 20th century. In many cases, construction of these structures has evidently resulted in irreversible changes in natural and cultural environments. However, they have also supplied energy for the industrialization of civilizations. After approximately 100 years of existence, it is crucial to determine the future of these hydroelectric facilities, which are artifacts of industrial heritage approaching the end of their productive life spans. The article proposes an analytical approach aiming to sustain the integrity of nature and culture in the conservation of hydroelectric plants, presenting these energy facilities as cultural properties of industrial heritage, and discussing the impact of hydroelectric dams on natural and cultural environments, along with the effects of nature in the deterioration of these structures in order to pave the way to an optimized and sustainable future for the heritage of energy. Full article
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Article
Generation of Hydro Energy by Using Data Mining Algorithm for Cascaded Hydropower Plant
Energies 2021, 14(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020298 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
The thirst of the Earth for energy is lurching towards catastrophe in an era of increasing water shortage where most of the power plants are hydroelectric. The hydro-based power systems are facing challenges in determining day-ahead generation schedules of cascaded hydropower plants. The [...] Read more.
The thirst of the Earth for energy is lurching towards catastrophe in an era of increasing water shortage where most of the power plants are hydroelectric. The hydro-based power systems are facing challenges in determining day-ahead generation schedules of cascaded hydropower plants. The objective of the current study is to find a speedy and practical method for predicting and classifying the future schedules of hydropower plants in order to increase the overall efficiency of energy by utilizing the water of cascaded hydropower plants. This study is significant for water resource planners in the planning and management of reservoirs for generating energy. The proposed method consists of data mining techniques and approaches. The energy production relationship is first determined for upstream and downstream hydropower plants by using multiple linear regression. Then, a cluster analysis is used to find typical generation curves with the help of historical data. The decision tree algorithm C4.5, Iterative Dichotomiser 3-IV, improved C4.5 and Chi-Squared Automatic Interaction Detection are adopted to quickly predict generation schedules, and detailed comparison among different algorithms are made. The decision tree algorithms are solved using SIPINA software. Results show that the C4.5 algorithm is more feasible for rapidly generating the schedules of cascaded hydropower plants. This decision tree algorithm is helpful for the researchers to make fast decisions in order to enhance the energy production of cascaded hydropower plants. The major elements of this paper are challenges and solution of head sensitive hydropower plants, using the decision-making algorithms for producing the generation schedules, and comparing the generation from the proposed method with actual energy production. Full article
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Review

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Review
A Comprehensive Study on the Recent Progress and Trends in Development of Small Hydropower Projects
Energies 2021, 14(10), 2882; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102882 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
In terms of fuel resource, hydropower possesses a prominent advantage over any other large power plants which burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. Moreover, due to the abundance in resource availability (as a domestic source in small streams and rivers), small hydropower (SHP) [...] Read more.
In terms of fuel resource, hydropower possesses a prominent advantage over any other large power plants which burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. Moreover, due to the abundance in resource availability (as a domestic source in small streams and rivers), small hydropower (SHP) plants are showing prominence all over the world. SHP plants have led to improved access to electricity usage in under-developed and developing nations, thereby contributing to sustainable development goals and social empowerment. SHP, as a technology, is regarded as the largest density renewable resource with high adaptability, and low investment costs. The primary objective of the paper is to study and analyze recent developments in SHP technologies with reporting statistical figures in terms of installed capacity and MW potential in several parts of the world. Methodologies adopted by researchers to conduct techno-economic analysis of SHP projects are reviewed. Various costs involved in conducting pre-feasibility studies—such as constructing, maintaining, and sustainably operating SHP projects—are studied. The results of the study indicate cost and regulatory issues are the major factors affecting the growth of the small hydropower sector in many nations. Major impediments to construction, development and deployment of SHP projects, mutually existing among the nations worldwide, are also reported. Technical hindrances include non-availability of the grid and very limited accessibility to SHP sites, emissions due to storage of water, disruptive technologies with limited manpower and non-technical hindrances include discouragement from local bodies and groups, lack of suitable and precise pathways to accomplish SHP goals of a nation, lack of incentives for encouraging private players to invest in SHP projects, complex approval processes, and many more. Full article
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