Analyzing the impact of streamflow drought on hydroelectricity production: a global-scale study

  • Electricity production by hydropower is negatively affected by drought. To understand and quantify risks of less than normal streamflow for hydroelectricity production (HP) at the global scale, we developed an HP model that simulates time series of monthly HP worldwide and thus enables analyzing the impact of drought on HP. The HP model is based on a new global hydropower database (GHD), containing 8,716 geo-localized plant records, and on monthly streamflow values computed by the global hydrological model WaterGAP with a spatial resolution of 0.5°. The GHD includes 44 attributes and covers 91.8% of the globally installed capacity. The HP model can reproduce HP trends, seasonality, and interannual variability that was caused by both (de)commissioning of hydropower plants and hydrological variability. It can also simulate streamflow drought and its impact on HP reasonably well. Global risk maps of HP reduction were generated for both 0.5° grid cells and countries, revealing that 67 out of the 134 countries with hydropower suffer, in 1 out of 10 years, from a reduction of more than 20% of mean annual HP and 18 countries from a reduction of more than 40%. The developed HP model enables advanced assessments of drought impacts on hydroelectricity at national to international levels.
Author:Wenhua Wan, Jianshi Zhao, Eklavyya Popat, Claudia Herbert, Petra Döll
Parent Title (English):Water resources research
Place of publication:New York
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/04/07
Date of first Publication:2021/04/07
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/07/21
Tag:drought; global hydrological model; global hydropower database; hydropower; hydropower production
Issue:4, art. e2020WR028087
Page Number:25
First Page:1
Last Page:25
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 333 Boden- und Energiewirtschaft / 333.7 Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0