The impact of climate change on the generation of hydroelectric power: a case study in Southern Spain
Keywords: 
Climate change
Climate change adaptation
Hydropower generation
Water resources
Renewable energy
Issue Date: 
2017
ISSN: 
1996-1073
Note: 
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons: Atribution License (cc BY)
Citation: 
Solaun-Martínez, K. (Kepa); Cerdá, E.. "The impact of climate change on the generation of hydroelectric power: a case study in Southern Spain". Energies. 10 (9), 2017, 1343
Abstract
Climate change could pose a significant threat to the energy sector in various countries. The objective of this study is to analyze the long-term impact of changes in precipitation and water availability on hydroelectric production. To do so, the study focuses on three hydroelectric power plants in Southern Spain combining climatological, technical and economic data and projections. A physical model has been designed that reproduces the plants¿ operations and incorporates various scenarios for the evolution of contributions to the basin. The results predict a 10 to 49% drop in production by the end of the century, depending on the plant and scenario. This decrease in production, in accordance with our economic and operational hypotheses, would significantly affect the operating margins of the facilities and, in certain scenarios, could reach an economically unsustainable level by the end of the century. An investment analysis has been carried out as well, showing that climate change may jeopardize future investments in similar facilities.

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