The potential of “small hydro” power generation in Europe is still largely unexploited because of strict environmental requirements and legal rights for water use. Among the EU-27 member states, Italy is recognised as one of the most promising countries for the further exploitation of small hydro power. This paper presents a methodology for assessing the technical and economic potential of small hydro on a regional scale. The methodology is applied to the Abruzzo region in Italy. The investigation covers approximately 90 river branches belonging to the major regional basins. The methodology characterizes the flow duration curves of suitable stretches of river using a regional analysis based on a graphical approach. An energy model evaluates the rated power and the annual electricity production of installable small hydro power plants based on the flow duration curve and the type of hydraulic turbine. The economic analysis estimates the unit cost of electricity produced and the profitability of the initial investment assuming two scenarios based on different fixed- and variable-cost models. The net potential obtained from the energy analysis is adjusted to give the economically feasible potential at different levels of economic competitiveness for the regional basins investigated.

Techno-economic evaluation of small-hydro power plants: Modelling and characterisation of the Abruzzo region in Italy

CARAPELLUCCI, ROBERTO;
2015

Abstract

The potential of “small hydro” power generation in Europe is still largely unexploited because of strict environmental requirements and legal rights for water use. Among the EU-27 member states, Italy is recognised as one of the most promising countries for the further exploitation of small hydro power. This paper presents a methodology for assessing the technical and economic potential of small hydro on a regional scale. The methodology is applied to the Abruzzo region in Italy. The investigation covers approximately 90 river branches belonging to the major regional basins. The methodology characterizes the flow duration curves of suitable stretches of river using a regional analysis based on a graphical approach. An energy model evaluates the rated power and the annual electricity production of installable small hydro power plants based on the flow duration curve and the type of hydraulic turbine. The economic analysis estimates the unit cost of electricity produced and the profitability of the initial investment assuming two scenarios based on different fixed- and variable-cost models. The net potential obtained from the energy analysis is adjusted to give the economically feasible potential at different levels of economic competitiveness for the regional basins investigated.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/18054
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