Further conservation of hydropower and electricity would provide an energy surplus until 2050

Further conservation of hydropower and electricity would provide an energy surplus until 2050

Severe weather “Hans” with massive amounts of rain, which hit large areas in Viken and Inlandt on August 7, led to massive flooding that hit homes, commercial buildings, roads, railways, agriculture and more.

The government recently announced that NOK 1.7 billion will be allocated to affected municipalities. These funds will only be allocated for reconstruction to the original level, i.e. zero for preventive measures.

This is a short-term idea, because this area and other parts of the country could be affected by flooding caused by rapid snowmelt or large amounts of rainfall.

Therefore there is a need to think again, both about flood protection to reduce flooding and about measures to reduce water flow in rivers when there is a risk of flooding. The loss of cultivated land as a result of floods and landslides is also an issue that is becoming increasingly urgent.

Great potential to increase hydroelectric power

After the major flood in eastern Norway in 1995, the Flood Measures Committee was established, which the following year submitted a very comprehensive public report No 1996:16Additional water storage was mentioned as an effective way to combat flood damage. Many projects have been considered to exploit this opportunity, but little has happened so far.



A modern one Project report From HydroCen (Norwegian Research Center for Hydropower Technology) discusses the possibility of developing and expanding Norwegian hydropower, including increasing reservoir capacities and active regulation, as flood mitigation measures.

There are more than 1,000 hydroelectric reservoirs in Norway, where the water level is regulated up and down depending on flow and production. The storage capacity of many of these reservoirs can be increased by building dams to capture flood water.

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It is also possible to build new dam facilities connected to existing reservoirs in areas particularly vulnerable to rainfall, since the conservation and topographical conditions are suitable for such developments. Actively lowering the water level in existing dams, before the risk of flooding, will also contribute to flood protection.

Norwegian hydropower has a normal annual production of about 137 TWh, and the current reservoir has a storage capacity of 84 TWh, of which Blåsjø (the largest reservoir in Norway) has a capacity
7.8 TWh.

There are no figures on how much additional reservoir capacity could be envisaged as flood protection, but it is perhaps not unreasonable to assume that at least a 10 per cent increase should be within reach, viewed in a 20-30 year perspective.

Storing floodwater that can be used to increase hydroelectric power is a proactive flood protection measure, in contrast to current passive measures: repairing only damage that occurs. In this way, it is a win-win situation, as the gain can be much less than the societal costs.

The energy situation in Norway is moving forward

The report was recently published by Statkraft Low emission scenario Norway 2023It is assumed that energy demand in Norway will range between 160 and 190 TWh in 2030 and will be able to grow to between 175 and 250 TWh in 2050.

NVE has the short term analysis As of August this year, Norway should have a positive energy balance in the next five years without particularly increasing energy production, rising from an assumed consumption of 136 TWh in 2023 to 158 TWh in 2028. Since then Between then and 2050, it would not be unreasonable to assume that energy demand will be able to increase by 50 to 60 TWh, exceeding the current normal annual production of a total of 156 TWh, also given that many “industrial ventures” Energy-intensive green energy is unlikely to pay off. .

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In the HydroCen report, it is estimated that upgrading and expanding existing hydropower would be able to provide 20 to 30 TWh of additional annual energy. In addition, there is the increased energy potential associated with flood protection (10 TWh?), and above all, there is as yet untapped potential to save electricity by 20-30 TWh per year, through reduced electricity use for heating, and the use of LEDs. . Lights inside and outside, etc.

In total, this amounts to about 60 TWh, so the combination of increased hydropower and energy savings alone will likely be able to maintain a positive energy balance in Norway until 2050.



Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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