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Selected Publication:

Seliger, C; Scheikl, S; Schmutz, S; Schinegger, R; Fleck, S; Neubarth, J; Walder, C; Muhar, S.
RIVER RES APPL. 2017; 33(2): 276-276. FullText FullText_BOKU

Hydropower (HP) is an important renewable energy source contributing 65.7% to Austriaxxxs national electricity generation. However, HP is also associated with ecosystem degradations jeopardizing the aims of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Habitats Directive. Based on the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Austrian Energy Strategy has defined goals to further increase HP production by 3.5 TWh until 2015. Because national strategies for HP development are widely missing, hydropower plants (HPPs) are planned and approved on a local and regional level, often neglecting the overall optimum for energy supply and ecology. Therefore, a decision support tool (Hy:Con) was developed to integrate the energy-economic characteristics of planned HPPs and conservation needs of ecologically sensible river stretches. Based on 102 planned HPPs in Austria, Hy: Con identified HPPs with high economic attractiveness and low conservation concerns. The results show that owing to the already high HP exploitation in Austria, only a minor number of projects are without conservation conflicts. Upgrading of existing HPPs was associated with least ecological impacts, while HPPs with reservoirs are favoured over run-of-river plants. Cumulated ecological effects of numerous small HPPs are significant, whereas their contribution to overall energy production is comparatively small. Hy: Con represents a strategic instrument that can help decision makers to govern the implementation of the RED and WFD in a transparent way to pinpoint the limitations of future HP development and to avoid conflicts and stranded investments. (C) 2015 The Authors. River Research and Applications Published by John Wiley *** Sons Ltd
Authors BOKU Wien:
Fleck Stefan
Muhar Susanne
Scheikl Sigrid
Schinegger Rafaela
Schmutz Stefan
Seliger Carina

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
sustainable hydropower development
renewable energies directive
water framework directive
decision support
strategic instrument

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