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Hydropower Operation and Economic Performance in a Changing Market Environment


As part of the NRP 70 Energy Turnaround initiative financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), which addresses the research challenges of the Swiss “Energy Strategy 2050”, and part of the “The Future of Swiss Hydropower: An Integrated Economic Assessment of Chances Threats and Solutions” (HP-Future)” umbrella project, this project focuses on the short-term operational challenges of Swiss hydropower in a changing market environment. The final aim of this project is to assist in creating an environmentally friendly, but economically competitive energy market future for Switzerland.

Since hydropower can store its water resources and then release them at an optimal time regarding market options, they can essentially be used as a giant “battery”. Considering a market where prices fluctuate due to a dependence on a variety of renewable energies that rely on whether conditions, the hydropower plants can be used to stabilise the market. As a result, the energy industry can make more use of other renewable energies, be more competitive and operate the hydropower plants in a more financially viable manner.

To assist in managing the operation of hydropower plant, this project aims at implementing accurate operation models allowing flexibility in planning and production so that operators can react to the market needs. The Models are implemented using operations research methods and will incorporate various physical, environmental and economic constraints and consider single site problems as well problems with multiple sites sharing the same water resources.

Start 10 / 2014
End 02 / 2018
Funding SNSF, NRP 70