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Koch, Franziska; Prasch, Monika; Bach, Heike; Mauser, Wolfram; Appel, Florian and Weber, Markus (October 2011): How Will Hydroelectric Power Generation Develop under Climate Change Scenarios? A Case Study in the Upper Danube Basin. In: Energies, Vol. 4, No. 10: pp. 1508-1541 [PDF, 3MB]

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Climate change has a large impact on water resources and thus on hydropower. Hydroelectric power generation is closely linked to the regional hydrological situation of a watershed and reacts sensitively to changes in water quantity and seasonality. The development of hydroelectric power generation in the Upper Danube basin was modelled for two future decades, namely 2021-2030 and 2051-2060, using a special hydropower module coupled with the physically-based hydrological model PROMET. To cover a possible range of uncertainties, 16 climate scenarios were taken as meteorological drivers which were defined from different ensemble outputs of a stochastic climate generator, based on the IPCC-SRES-A1B emission scenario and four regional climate trends. Depending on the trends, the results show a slight to severe decline in hydroelectric power generation. Whilst the mean summer values indicate a decrease, the mean winter values display an increase. To show past and future regional differences within the Upper Danube basin, three hydropower plants at individual locations were selected. Inter-annual differences originate predominately from unequal contributions of the runoff compartments rain, snow-and ice-melt.

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