Programme  Poster session 4  abstract 927

Methodology for the evaluation of the residual potential hydropower production in Italy taking into account the catchment water resource exploitation

Author(s): Julio Alterach, Maximo Peviani, Alessandro Davitti, Milena Vergata
Alterach Julio(1), Peviani Maximo(1), Davitti Alessandro (1) , Vergata Milena (1) (1) CESI RICERCA SpA. Via Rubattino, 54 20134 Milano Italy phone: +39/0239921; fax: +39/0239925440 e-mails:,


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Session: Poster session 4

production is the most important renewable energy source in the Italian electricity system, with more than 2.000

plants, more than 17 GW power installed and a mean annual production of about 42 TWh. Due to the increasing

attention to environmental protection on the one hand, and unexploited watercourses on the other hand, the role of

small hydropower has gained particular attention. Recent studies concerning the residual potential of small scale

hydropower generation in Italy show that there are conditions for increasing the current level of small hydro


The present paper describes the methodology to evaluate the residual potential hydropower

energy in the Italian territory, taking into account the current water resource exploitation (irrigation, drinkable water,

existing hydro power, etc). The model uses a numerical technique coupled with a GIS of the hydrological and

physiographic characteristics of each basin, at a national scale.

The GIS model covers the whole Italian

territory with nearly 1500 of interconnected sub-basins, each one with the necessary physiographic information, the

rainfall maps and the corresponded runoff coefficients. The Italian maps of the water resources availability and the

maximum potential hydropower are produced and illustrated. To assess the residual potential hydropower

production, the algorithms take into account the minimum flows (released to comply with environmental regulation)

and the present water uses for each elementary basin. Finally results for a case study are illustrated.


residual potential hydropower production map demonstrates to be a quite helpful tool to support administrations,

decision makers and stakeholders in general, to make Energy Master Plans, or assess and implement small scale

hydropower plants.

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