Hydroelectric Power in Present and Future Energy Systems
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To be able to understand the dynamics of energy systems, the interplay between a variety of factors affecting them has to be addressed. In this thesis, we look at issues like climate change, energy policy, power transmission, energy storage and energy technology, to discuss the role of hydroelectric power in present and future energy systems. A model predicting future carbon emissions and temperature change has been developed, showing the dependence of possible climate change abatement on how soon and how fast we can reduce global emissions, underlining the importance of switching from non-renewable to renewable energy sources in the future. The increasing importance of stable and predictable renewables is highlighted, arguing that hydroelectric power - with its stability, predictability and also flexibility - could have a changed role in future energy systems, being used more extensively for balancing purposes and energy storage. Norway, having large hydropower- and hydro storage capacity, could thus play an important part as a stabilizing factor in a Nordic-, and also, to an increasing yet limited degree, in a European power system. Another fully predictable and sustainable power source being addressed in this thesis, is tidal power, which could experience commercial breakthrough in future energy systems. In addition to providing an overview of tidal energy conversion technologies, discussions regarding different methods for estimating tidal energy resource potentials are presented. We also look at Norwegian tidal energy resource estimates, as well as providing some self-produced, "back-of-envelope" calculations, estimating the total incoming tidal power to the Norwegian shore to be in the order of 30 GW, about the same as the present hydropower capacity in Norway. It is further suggested that 6.5 TWh could be extracted from this, annually. Although being very rough estimates, they support the view that new thorough studies of the Norwegian tidal resource potential should be conducted.