Hydropower potential in the periglacial environment of Switzerland under climate change
Vetsch, David F.
Boes, Robert M.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Hydropower is the most important domestic source of renewable energy in Switzerland. Many reservoirs are located in the periglacial environment of the Swiss Alps. Climate change and the changeover to a new energy system will challenge the existing infrastructure, but will also provide perspectives for new hydropower plants (HPPs). This study presents a framework for the systematic analysis of the hydropower potential of the periglacial Swiss Alps. The results are referenced to the Swiss Energy Strategy and other potential courses of action, such as upgrade of existing infrastructure. An evaluation matrix with 16 economical, environmental and social criteria for the consistent rating of all feasible sites is proposed. All criteria and their ratings are explained. It is demonstrated that the chosen methodology leads to a relatively stable ranking even for significantly different weighting models. Although being affected by uncertainties and remaining challenges, the methodology and results are sufficiently detailed for decision-making. Therefore, recommendations for future hydropower investments can be given. The results are strongly linked to Swiss boundary conditions, but the methodology itself is generally applicable for all glaciers worldwide, if the required input data are available Show more
Journal / seriesSustainability
Pages / Article No.
Subjectclimate change; evaluation matrix for new reservoirs; hydropower potential in Switzerland; periglacial environment; Swiss Energy Strategy 2050
Organisational unit03820 - Boes, Robert / Boes, Robert
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