Project

Back to overview

Potential for future hydropower plants in Switzerland: a systematic analysis in the periglacial environment (PHP)

English title Potential for future hydropower plants in Switzerland: a systematic analysis in the periglacial environment (PHP)
Applicant Boes Robert Michael
Number 153927
Funding scheme NRP 70 Energy Turnaround
Research institution Versuchsanstalt für Wasserbau, Hydrologie und Glaziologie ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Civil Engineering
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 30.06.2018
Approved amount 396'100.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Civil Engineering
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology

Keywords (9)

hydropower potential; abrasive capacity of glaciers; periglacial environment; glacier runoff; sediment production; sediment yield; glacier retreat; sediment management; reservoir sedimentation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Um den von Bundesrat und Parlament beschlossenen Ausstieg aus der Kernenergie umzusetzen, müssen Effizienzpotenziale und Möglichkeiten zur verstärkten Nutzung erneuerbarer Energie erschlossen werden. Der Gletscherrückzug bietet neue Chancen für den Bau von Stauanlagen in den in Zukunft eisfreien Gebieten im Hochgebirge. Aufgrund der unmittelbaren Nähe der neuen Stauanlagen und Wasserfassungen zu der glazialen Umgebung ergeben sich jedoch verschiedene Anforderungen an den Bau und den Betrieb dieser Anlagen. Durch den Gletscherrückzug werden z.B. grosse Sedimentmengen freigelegt, die in die Stauanlagen transportiert werden können und somit die Stauraumverlandung beschleunigen. Somit muss mit einem Verluste des Nutzvolumens für die Energieproduktion sowie mit einem begrenzten Retentionsvolumen für den Hochwasserschutz gerechnet werden. Zudem kann der unterbrochene Sedimenttransport zu negativen ökologischen Auswirkungen im Unterwasser der Stauanlagen führen.
Lay summary

Ziel

Das Projekt hat zum Ziel, das Potential zukünftiger (Speicher-)Wasserkraftwerke in periglazialer Umgebung abzuschätzen. Dazu werden sowohl geeignete Standorte gesucht als auch Prognosen über die dort zu erwartenden Bedingungen bezüglich Abfluss und Sedimentproduktion erstellt. Zudem wird abgeschätzt, wie sich insbesondere die Sedimentproduktion in den kommenden Jahrzenten verändern wird. Mittels numerischer Modellierung soll die Stauraumverlandung simuliert werden, um so die Lebensdauer einer Anlage abschätzen und möglichst früh Gegenmassnahmen planen zu können.

Bedeutung

Das Projekt trägt direkt zur zukünftigen Entwicklung bestehender sowie neuer Wasserkraftanlagen und somit zur Energieversorgung der Schweiz bei. Insbesondere werden Entscheidungsgrundlagen erarbeitet, die für mittel- bis langfristige Strategien im Wasserkraftsektor benötigt werden. Von den Informationen zum Potential der Wasserkraft profitieren sowohl die Kraftwerksbetreiber selbst als auch die Behörden und Bundesämter. Die Resultate können zudem auch auf ähnliche vergletscherte Gebiete ausserhalb der Schweiz angewandt werden.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 09.10.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Hydropower Potential in the Periglacial Environment of Switzerland under Climate Change
Ehrbar Daniel, Schmocker Lukas, Vetsch David, Boes Robert (2018), Hydropower Potential in the Periglacial Environment of Switzerland under Climate Change, in Sustainability, 10(8), 2794-2794.
Proglacial erosion rates and processes in a glacierized catchment in the Swiss AlpsPROGLACIAL EROSION IN THE SWISS ALPS
Delaney Ian, Bauder Andreas, Huss Matthias, Weidmann Yvo (2018), Proglacial erosion rates and processes in a glacierized catchment in the Swiss AlpsPROGLACIAL EROSION IN THE SWISS ALPS, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43(4), 765-778.
Measuring suspended sediments in periglacial reservoirs using water samples, laser in-situ scattering and transmissometry and acoustic Doppler current profiler
Ehrbar Daniel, Schmocker Lukas, Vetsch David F., Boes Robert M., Doering Michael (2017), Measuring suspended sediments in periglacial reservoirs using water samples, laser in-situ scattering and transmissometry and acoustic Doppler current profiler, in International Journal of River Basin Management, 15(4), 413-431.
Measuring sediment fluxes in periglacial reservoirs using water samples, LISST and ADCP
Ehrbar Daniel, Schmocker Lukas, Vetsch David F., Boes Robert M., Doering Michael (2016), Measuring sediment fluxes in periglacial reservoirs using water samples, LISST and ADCP, in International Symposium on River Sedimentation, StuttgartUniversity of Stuttgart, Stuttgart.
Messung von Sedimentflüssen in periglazialen Stauseen mit Wasserproben, LISST und ADCP
Ehrbar Daniel, Schmocker Lukas, Vetsch David F., Boes Robert M., Döring Michael (2016), Messung von Sedimentflüssen in periglazialen Stauseen mit Wasserproben, LISST und ADCP, in 18. Wasserbau-Symposium, WallgauTechnische Universität München, München.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Ofima sa, Locarno Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Forces Motrices de Mauvoisin SA, Sion Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Alpiq SA, Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Hydropower potential at Oberaletsch Glacier 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Boes Robert Michael; Ehrbar Daniel;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Hydropower potential at Rhône Glacier 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Boes Robert Michael; Ehrbar Daniel;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Potential for future hydropower plants (HPPs) in Switzerland 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Boes Robert Michael; Ehrbar Daniel;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster Potential for future hydropower plants: A systematic analysis of the periglacial environment 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Boes Robert Michael; Funk Martin; Delaney Ian; Ehrbar Daniel;
American Geophysical Union Poster Determining erosion rates and processes in a glacier's fore-field over a 28 year period. 14.12.2015 San Francisco, United States of America Delaney Ian;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Erosion rates and processes in a glacier's forefield over a 28-year period. 21.11.2015 Basal, Switzerland Delaney Ian;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2015 Poster Hydropower plants in the periglacial environment 10.09.2015 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Delaney Ian; Ehrbar Daniel;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Potential for future hydropower plants (HPPs) in Switzerland Spotlight on Energy Research, ESC ETH Zurich International 2017

Use-inspired outputs

Software

Name Year


Abstract

In Switzerland, the high alpine environment is still covered by 944 km² of ice. The expected glacier retreat in the coming decades due to atmospheric warming will offer new perspectives for the construction of alpine reservoirs and hydropower plants to harness the considerable energy potential of the periglacial catchments. However, the immediate proximity to the glacial high alpine environment of such infrastructures will pose challenges in terms of construction, operation and maintenance, since the temporal evolution of glaciers, runoff and sediment transport in the catchments, the resulting reservoir sedimentation and the protection against different natural hazards have to be considered.The goal of the proposed study is to systematically assess where the construction of new reservoirs and hydropower plants appears to be feasible in the periglacial environment, with a strong research focus on future runoff changes, retreat and abrasive capacity of glaciers, sediment production and transport, reservoir sedimentation and operation, and hydropower potential.To achieve these goals, the following activities are planned: After a systematic search for potential sites for new hydropower facilities in the periglacial regions, we plan methodological improvements to determine glacier bed topography, modelling the future evolution of glaciers, runoff and sediment production accounting for climate variability in WP1 (glaciology). In WP2 (hydraulic engineering and numerics) a numerical model will be developed, optimized and applied to systematically analyse the impacts of irregular runoff and high sediment yield on both existing and new hydropower schemes. In WP2 we will further focus on the analysis of sediment management at both high-head run-of-river and storage hydropower plants, and will conduct a systematic hydropower feasibility assessment taking into account hydrology and energy production, sedimentology and reservoir sedimentation.
-