Chair of Hydrology and Water Resources Management (HWRM) at ETH Zurich, Swiss National Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Kraftwerke Mattmark AG (KWM), Axpo, Officine Idroelettriche della Maggia SA (Ofima)
Current Projects (click here for download)
Design of hydropower systems operation under current and future energy market conditions
D. Anghileri, I. Schlecht, A. Castelletti, H. Weigt, P. Burlando
Impacts of climate change on hydrology and operation of Mattmark reservoir under business-as-usual production targets
D. Anghileri, N. Peleg, A. Castelletti, P. Burlando
The purpose of Task 2.5 is to develop an advanced modelling framework for the integrated and continuous simulation of hydrological regimes and the operation of hydropower systems. The model allows accounting for climate change scenarios, the corresponding altered streamflow regimes, different energy market conditions (e.g., energy demand and price, increased production by solar and wind powerplants), as well as new boundary conditions for operation (e.g., aquatic ecosystem conservation) and technical solutions (e.g., dam crest heightening or installation of more flexible machines). The modelling framework allows a quantitative assessment of current and future hydropower reservoir operation strategies in terms of energy production and revenue, integration with other power sources, and effects on natural water bodies and ecosystems. The specific objectives are:
- assess impacts of climate change on available water resources at existing and planned HP systems, on their extremes (low and high flows), on floods and sediment transport and, more in general, on any element of change that can affect the hydropower production potential;
- assess the energy production increase achievable by current reservoir operating strategies or ad hoc designed to account for technical improvements and/or adaptations of the hydropower systems to future hydro-climatic and socio-economic forcing;
- analyse the effects of increasingly volatile demand and market conditions (as induced, for instance, by production from other renewable energies) on the production potential and to design more flexible and robust hydropower system operation strategies.
Interaction Between the Partners – Synthesis
Several collaboration has been established with other research partners within the context of the SCCER and other related projects. This represents the first steps towards the integration of the results achieved by different WP2 tasks and activities into a common modelling framework. A strong connection has been built with some industrial partners thanks to periodical meetings, which have the scope of updating the stakeholders of the work results and to include their feedbacks into the research activities, thus collaborating together to shared solutions in view of the energy strategy 2050.
In particular, we are working in collaboration with Task 2.1 to extend our research spatially distributed hydrological model to include a more detailed representation of the glacierised areas. Moreover, we are going to use the high-resolution climate change scenarios developed in Task 2.1 to simulate the effect on hydrological regimes and hydropower system operation across the investigated river basins. The main partners of these activities are:
ETH Zurich (Hydrology and Water Resources Management), ETH Zurich (Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology), Center for Climate Systems Modeling (C2SM), and Kraftwerke Mattmark AG / Axpo Power AG.
Further we are working in collaboration with Task 2.2 to assess the impact of different market scenarios on future hydropower operation. We are combining multi-objective optimization techniques and a Swiss electricity market model to design different reservoir operating policies to assess which reservoir operating strategies can lead to maximisation of production to support the 2050 energy strategy. The main partners of these activities are:
ETH Zurich (Hydrology and Water Resources Management), Uni Basel (Research Center for Sustainable Energy and Water Management), and Kraftwerke Mattmark AG / Axpo Power AG.
We have established a collaboration with OFIMA to assess future operating strategies also including the effect of different reservoir operating policies on the ecology of downstream river corridors. This activity links to Task 2.4 and to the NRP 70 funded project “HydroEnv”, the purpose of which is to identify key environmental indicators and environmental flow policies to be included in the integrated model as performance metrics to evaluate future hydropower system operation from the ecological point of view.
Finally, we plan to partner with Swiss National Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) to develop ensemble streamflow forecasts and explore by means of the integrated model how multi-model forecast uncertainty affects streamflow real-time predictions and their use in hydropower reservoir operation.
Several master theses have been conducted to test and develop the modelling framework and produce some preliminary results on two study sites. The students involved come from ETH Zurich as well as from other European universities.
The activities on Task 2.5 were presented in two international conferences thanks to two oral contributions:
- Operation of hydropower generation systems in the Alps under future climate and socio-economic drivers. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015 - Vienna (Austria)
- The role of hydropower operation to contribute to the future electricity supply of Switzerland: aim and experience of the Swiss Competence Center on Energy Research - Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE). EWRI (World Environmental and Water Resources Congress) - Austin, Texas (U.S.A.)