Featured HydroCen International

EU accepts call for extensive hydropower research cooperation

Europe’s largest energy research community, EERA, has decided to establish a Joint Programme on hydropower.

— In the EU, and the world, hydropower is the major technology for producing renewable electric energy. We are happy that it is back on the European research agenda, says Hege Brende Executive Director of HydroCen, the Norwegian Research Centre for Hydropower Technology.

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and its influential network of Joint Programmes already include research on smart grids, wind energy and solar power, to name a few.

– These new technologies will have a great impact in realizing the goal of becoming a low carbon society. However, the rise of intermittent energy production such as wind and solar, also presents a new reality for the energy system, says Brende.

A fully renewable energy system demands flexibility at a new level. Such as energy storage, system services and capacity output must always be readily available to keep society on operation.

Network of excellent research

For this to be a possibility there is need for innovation, and researchers from several European institutions have come together to develop the proposal for a Joint Programme on hydropower in EERA.

— Hydropower delivers 50% of the renewable electric production in Europe, and it can have a huge impact on the entire energy system. Across Europe several research institutions are now looking for solutions and innovations to make that possible, says Brende.

26 partners from 13 countries contributed to the proposal and came well prepared to the recent meeting with The Executive Committee in EERA.

— Hydropower is a technology that is already employed and invested in, it is highly effective and reliable, says Pål-Tore Storli, associate professor at NTNU and science coordinator.
There are, however, some technological constraints that need to be lifted for hydropower to fulfil the role as a flexible player in the future system.

— Flexible power production can lead to rapid variations in waterflow and impact the environment further, and there are electromechanical challenges that need to be solved, as well as finding better ways to predict fluctuations in the market, says Storli.

13 nations land 26 institutions will participate in the new Joint Programme for Hydropower. Illustration: Vivian Thonstad Moe

Influence the roadmap to the future

— Our opinion is that we need to take a broad approach, so working together across disciplines and borders is essential, says Hege Brende.

She was rewarded for this approach when the EERA Executive Committee made their final decision.

— Congratulations! The main work is now ahead of you!
EERA General Secretary, Adel el Gammal, brought the good news from the Committee. It was, of course, received with jubilation by the HydroCen representatives.

— The Joint programs represent the leading edge of their research fields. They represent scientific excellence, and the feedback we get from institutions and participants tells us that it is extremely rewarding from a scientific perspective, says Gammal.

From a political perspective EERA is becoming a very influential body within the EU-system.

— Over the last two years we’ve very much been raising the profile of the organisation, to become an operative body within the context of the EU energy strategy, says Gammal.

— We are definitely up for this challenge, we are honoured by this acknowledgment and very excited to cooperate further with all our partners, says Hege Brende, director of HydroCen.

Partners:

Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt AUSTRIA
Belgian Energy Research Alliance (BERA) / ULB BELGIUM
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) FRANCE
EFZN Energie-Forschungszentrum Niedersachen/TU Braunschweig GERMANY
ETH Zürich SWITZERLAND
HES-SO Valais/Wallis SWITZERLAND
Institute for Fluid-Flow Machinery, Gdansk POLAND
IST – Instituto Superior Tecnico Lisboa PORTUGAL
Luleå Technical University SWEDEN
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology NORWAY
Politecnico di Milano ITALY
Reykjavik University ICELAND
RWTH Aachen University GERMANY
SINTEF Energy NORWAY
The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) NORWAY
TU Dresden GERMANY
TU Graz AUSTRIA
TU München GERMANY
TU Wien AUSTRIA
University of Exeter UK
University of Padova ITALY
University of Southampton UK
University of Timisoara ROMANIA
Uppsala University SWEDEN
Warsaw University of Technology POLAND
Belgian Energy Research Alliance (BERA) / ULB BELGIUM
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) FRANCE
EFZN Energie-Forschungszentrum Niedersachen/TU Braunschweig GERMANY
ETH Zürich SWITZERLAND
EPFL SWITZERLAND
HES-SO Valais/Wallis SWITZERLAND
Institute for Fluid-Flow Machinery, Gdansk POLAND
IST – Instituto Superior Tecnico Lisboa PORTUGAL
Luleå Technical University SWEDEN
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology NORWAY
Politecnico di Milano ITALY
Reykjavik University ICELAND
RWTH Aachen University GERMANY
SINTEF Energy NORWAY
The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) NORWAY
TU Dresden GERMANY
TU Graz AUSTRIA
TU München GERMANY
TU Wien AUSTRIA
University of Exeter UK
University of Padova ITALY
University of Southampton UK
University of Timisoara ROMANIA
Uppsala University SWEDEN
Warsaw University of Technology POLAND

About HydroCen

HydroCen is a Research Center for Environmentally friendly Energy. Our goal is to develop knew technology and knowledge so hydropower can meet new challenges and enable the transition to a fully renewable energy system.

0 comments on “EU accepts call for extensive hydropower research cooperation

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: