The research side of our work carries on. We are working with quite a range of institutions. The latest being a PhD student from Sheffield who is looking into climate change impacts on hydro generation. Ernesto Pasten Zapata came up last week to look at the Hafod y Llan hydro and his PhD research will also include looking at what the medium to longer term future holds for our hydro in terms of modeling the catchment and impact on generation. LINK
“The purpose of this research is to assess the effects of future climate variability towards hydropower schemes. By estimating future rainfall, changes in the mean and variability of river flow will be simulated for a series of study catchments. Afterwards, the future efficiency of hydropower schemes located within the catchments will be evaluated and compared with their current efficiency. As hydropower schemes mainly rely on river flow, changes on its regime will inevitably influence the performance and efficiency of hydropower generation. Nowadays, the production of energy via environmentally friendly sources is a global trend. Therefore, an assessment of the hydropower scheme efficiency is important along with an analysis of future potential and feasibility. This project integrates approaches analysing climate variability, hydrological models and energy.”
Changing climate, changing rainfall patterns and so on WILL impact hydros but is it a case of more rain in the west of the country because warm air can hold more moisture or will it be a more boom and bust type affair. We have good data. Wallingford Hydro solutions and their LowFlow models are currently ideal tools for our planning but…what does what ‘if’ look like in the medium to long-term? Lets research!
We have agreed to take part in another more holistic ecological impact study of in-situ hydro systems. We all work to the precautionary principle but this can be honed and benchmarked as our understanding grows. Lastly (for now) also just fed data and opinions into the soon to be published community benefit study of hydros in an about to be published report by the Cardiff School of business…. and a bit more to come…!
Research and sharing and doing