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Effects of climate change over energy production in La Plata Basin
UNESCO-IHE, Delft, Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7575-8989
2014 (English)In: International Journal of River Basin Management, ISSN 1571-5124, E-ISSN 1814-2060, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 319-327Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The population growth and the economic development that the five Countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) located in La Plata Basin (LPB) have gone through over the last decades have risen the necessity to assess the current and future electricity demand and compare it to the energy production. In this region, the water resources of LPB are one of the most important sources of energy. In this context, the CLARIS EU (European Union) FP7 project has carried out an extensive research work which, in terms of investigating hydropower potential and vulnerability, has produced the following outcomes: assessment of current hydropower production and electricity demand; calculation of the maximum potential hydropower in order to establish whether and when shortage in terms of hydropower generation is to be expected; analysis of potential residual hydropower taking into account future user demands and analysis of hydropower production taking into account climate change scenarios, in order to identify potential vulnerabilities under variable input and/or needs for other sources of energy.

This paper focuses on the outcomes of the climate change scenario analysis and its impacts on hydropower production in the basin. This has been investigated by (1) assessing the current hydropower production and electricity demand over the last 20 years (1991–2010), in order to establish growing trends in the short-term (2031–2040) and at the end of the century (2079–2098); (2) estimating maximum potential hydropower under present hydrological conditions; (3) analysis of potential vulnerability, by combining the first two research steps and (4) analysing the impact of climate change scenarios on hydrological variability and thus on hydropower production.

The assessment of hydropower production and electricity demand determined that the current hydropower production represents about 73% of the electricity demand. Analysing the trends for the electricity produced by hydro-plants and the electricity demand, it is evident that the increment rate for the hydroelectricity production is lower than the increment rate of the electricity demand. Although, the maximum theoretically available energy at the basin level is about 683 GWh, the maximum feasible available energy (taking into account environmental flow requirements and financial constraints) will be of about 514 GWh per year.

The climate change analysis shows an opposite trend at the sub-basin level, but overall, at the basin scale, the hydropower production is expected to increase because of changes in the hydrological variables.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 12, no 4, p. 319-327
National Category
Ocean and River Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-248545DOI: 10.1080/15715124.2014.917317Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84918535139OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-248545DiVA, id: diva2:1303398
Note

QC 20190614

Available from: 2019-04-09 Created: 2019-04-09 Last updated: 2019-06-14Bibliographically approved

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