The mission of the hydropower activities in work package 2 is to support the goals of the Energy Strategy 2050 by increasing electricity generation by roughly 4.5 TWh per year. This increase shall be achieved through new large and small hydropower plants and by extending and adapting existing large plants. It should be noted that the requirements of the Swiss Water Protection Act (GschG) have to be applied after the end of current water concessions, which will result in a reduction of mean annual production, leaving an effective production increase of 3.1 TWh per year.
An equally important aspect of our research is to increase the flexibility of hydropower production both to better support fluctuating generation by new renewable technologies such as photovoltaics and wind, and to be more competitive in a highly volatile energy market. Part of this aspect is to increase winter electricity production which is a critical issue for safe supply after the phase out of nuclear power.