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Environmentally feasible potential for hydropower development regarding environmental constraints

Author

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  • Zhang, Jin
  • Xu, Linyu
  • Yu, Bing
  • Li, Xiaojin

Abstract

In addition to technical and economical reasons, environmental impacts are becoming an increasingly important issue in the policy making of hydropower development. According to different spatial scales, environmental impacts of hydropower projects can be divided into environmental impacts around a plant and environmental impacts downstream. The former can be transformed into a uniformed quantification based on CO2 equivalent (CO2-e), while the latter can be quantified in terms of reduced downstream flow. Environmental constraints around a plant are presented as the minimum production of environmental impacts around a plant, while those downstream are presented as not affecting the downstream environmental flow requirements. Based on five large hydropower projects (LHPs) and 10 small hydropower projects (SHPs) cases in Tibet, China, LHPs have greater environmental impacts around a plant when compared with SHP, but the opposite is true for downstream environmental impacts. For environmental constraints around a plant and downstream, the environmentally feasible potential for hydropower development on the Lhasa River is 398.3MW, which accounts for 15.6% of its theoretical potential, while the optimized hydropower mode choice is 285.7MW for LHP and 112.6MW for SHP. Environmentally feasible potential aims to balance hydropower generation with environmental protection, and tends to maximize the low carbon attributes of hydropower.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Jin & Xu, Linyu & Yu, Bing & Li, Xiaojin, 2014. "Environmentally feasible potential for hydropower development regarding environmental constraints," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 552-562.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:73:y:2014:i:c:p:552-562
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.04.040
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:912-:d:100174 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Li, Yun & Li, Yanbin & Ji, Pengfei & Yang, Jing, 2015. "The status quo analysis and policy suggestions on promoting China׳s hydropower development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1071-1079.
    4. Tahseen, Samiha & Karney, Bryan W., 2017. "Reviewing and critiquing published approaches to the sustainability assessment of hydropower," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 225-234.
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    6. repec:eee:renene:v:121:y:2018:i:c:p:700-711 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:renene:v:116:y:2018:i:pa:p:827-834 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yu, Bing & Xu, Linyu, 2016. "Review of ecological compensation in hydropower development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 729-738.

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    Keywords

    Hydropower; Environmental impacts; Low carbon.;

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