Significant efforts are underway to strengthen the power autarchy in Austria, which is the result of the steadily increasing need for renewable energy and due to Austria's vast experience in producing hydroelectric energy.
As a result, evaluation of remaining capacities on hydropower generation becomes necessary. As leading expert in the energy business market, Pöyry was recruited to carry out this evaluation.
The evaluation consisted of the following main steps:
- Reassessment of the theoretical hydro power potential using updated hydrological data
- Evaluation and analysis of existing power plants with a capacity ≥10 MW
- Determination of the hydropower potential, taking into account technical and economic restrictions (techno-economic potential)
For the evaluation of the techno-economic potential, an approach based on classification of catchment areas, on the one hand, and known project data, on the other hand, is employed.
Classification takes into account global parameters such as sea level, mean annual discharge, bottom slope and quality of duration curves of the catchment area. Additionally, specific parameters, such as type and grade of current hydropower use, special topographic, geologic and climatic features are considered.
Classes indicate the grade of potential hydropower use in a specific area. The class-specific grades are deduced from characteristic catchments and afterward superimposed on comparable areas.