So how green are our hydropower projects?
The Hydro-BPT team in Bangor have set out to answer the question in hand. The team took three case hydropower (HP) studies and undertook a life cycle assessment of each project to determine the environmental impacts of the steel, concrete and many other materials and processes associated with a HP project.
The answer is good, with results showing that each project had a carbon payback of between 0.16 to 0.31 years. The electricity that they generate can offset the energy that goes into building them in just a few months.
A paper has just been published by the Journal of Cleaner Environment called Life cycle environmental balance and greenhouBreakdown of environmental impacts of MHP case studies exprese gas mitigation potential of micro-hydropower energy recovery in the water industry” and can be access on the journal website or contact us here at Hydro-BPT. (Link)
This demonstrates how green these projects are, but the Hydro-BPT team aims to continue this work with further studies to see if the raw materials used can go that little bit further and HP can get greener.
Publication date: 27 March 2015