The future of hydropower in Europe can be greener
The latest paper by the Bangor team is looking at the big picture of hydropower and Europe. Taking 3 case studies of typical hydropower projects in the UK (with thanks to National Trust Wales and Ellergreen Hydro for the data) we examined the environmental burdens of constructing these projects. Furthermore, we then considered how green these projects are, and how we can make them greener. Our work has just been published in Environmental Science & Technology (Url.).
In the context of the future of hydropower, a publication in 2014 estimated 28,000 sites yet to be implemented in Europe. Our work made a conservative extrapolation of our results and found that taking ecodesign considerations could avoid using 800 000 tonnes of concrete, 10 000 tonnes of steel, and 65 million vehicle miles. Not to forget the potential to generate 7.35 TWh and offset over 2.96 Mt of CO2 from grid electricity per annum. Big potential, but can we achieve it?
Publication date: 8 May 2015