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Climate change and hydropower production
In this interdisciplinary project research teams from WSL (Mountain Hydrology and Mass Movements), Univ. Bern (Hydrology), ETH Zürich (Atmosphere and Climate, VAW Glaciology, Centre of Energy Policy and Economics) and Univ. Zürich (Physical Geography) have investigated the effect of a changing climate on the Swiss Hydropower production.
In a first step climate change scenarios
were downscaled from climate models for the periods 2020 to 2050 and 2070 to
2100 for different regions of Switzerland. Past and future impacts of a
changing climate were then be simulated for 50 representative Swiss
catchments (including sensitivity analysis of the production and demand in
respect to changes of the hydrometeorological conditions). Further, for a
selection of five case studies (hydropower plants) the climate change impact
on the hydropower production were analysed in detail.
The project is under the lead of the Mountain Water Network, and it is financed by swisselectric research and BfE (Swiss Federal Office of Energy).
Focus study Valais
Within the main study an additional study (Valais, Hydropower, Climate Change) were focussed on the southern Swiss region Valais. Similar analysis as in the main study were done on a finer spatial scale. In addition, the impacts of climate change on glacier evolution and bedload transport were analysed. This WSL-lead work was financed by the Section of Energy and Hydropower of the Valais canton and the Forces Motrices Valaisannes. Both studies are published in the synthesis bulletin (see publications).
Swiss Association for Hydrology and Limnology SGHL and Swiss Hydrological Commission CHy (Eds) 2011. Auswirkungen der Klimaänderung auf die Wasserkraftnutzung – Synthesebericht. Beiträge zur Hydrologie der Schweiz, Nr. 38, 28 S., Bern. ISBN 978-3-033-02970-5 / ISSN 1421-1130 (only in german)