Hydropower as the world’s largest source of renewable energy still has a high unused potential to be explored in times of a changing global energy policy. The economic and ecological evaluation of new hydropower developments rely on a number of environmental conditions, such as key hydrological parameters. For example, the major drivers of the reservoir storage capacity over time, reservoir life time (and related reinvestment time), and also a major driver of the operations costs are directly related to the sediment regime and sediment trapping. These are defined by the external environmental boundary conditions. However, a typical situation at pre-planning stage is the absence of such data, especially when extended areas and river systems shall be investigated with the aim of a regional development. This introduces major opportunities for cost optimizations and improved sustainability of development plans.
An easy, direct access to key hydrological and water quality parameters, for selectable time periods covering actual, recent seasonal or historic data is demanded: such a solution, for any remote defined measurement station in rivers and surface waters worldwide, allows that decisions in hydropower investments can be based on the most holistic data set collection available. Such a desired, affordable solution will be made available online on the HYPOS portal, providing essential assets for hydro power managers, planners and decision makers in their work. The subscription portal brings together – on a sustainable commercial base – a) high-quality satellite-based measurements for historic time periods and actual continuous monitoring, b) up-to-date hydrological parameters from modelling, with nowcasting on various orderable levels of detail, c) available in-situ data and d) integrated baseline and environmental impact assessments, based on these data, e.g. on sedimentation regimes or trapping. Knowledge will be gained about essentially needed parameters, such as sediment composition, inflow/outflow volumes, sedimentation, evaporation rates, bank and bed abrasion, plankton and higher aquatic vegetation development. The service answers the most crucial faced issues on different levels, starting with a global perspective in medium temporal and spatial resolution and will range up to local high and very high-resolution products.
HYPOS will support hydropower industries with an easy and cost-efficient access to data and assessment tools, which are required to improve their planning and monitoring tasks, but are not available otherwise. The focus is on the following pillars through:
The main objective is the uptake of cost-effective high-quality water monitoring and data services on local, regional and global level for the hydropower stakeholders. The focus is on highly spatial-temporal resolved data through multi-satellite sensor services. Key elements are cost-efficient, valid harmonized products. Fully automated, client triggered production and access on demand, using distributed cloud-based production and data access infrastructures, preferable on the EU DIAS platforms and Copernicus satellite data. The focus will be on relevant parameters such as turbidity and suspended sediment loads in the water column of dams and rivers, harmful algae blooms, trophic status indicators and geophysical parameters such as temperature and evaporation rates in lakes and adjacent rivers.
Selection and provision of the most important – otherwise not available – data from professional models and earth observation (EO) information just to the client requested localized information targeted for planning purposes and monitoring capabilities, is key to achieve client acceptance, knowledge increase and cost savings. The target is to provide easy orderable access, direct evaluation and assimilation functionalities up to assessments and reporting for the hydropower clients.
Confidence in the concept will be created by validation of EO products, pragmatic implementation of monitoring, customized planning and decision support tools, evaluation and showcasing of the benefits through practical, extensive application of EO data. Demonstrations and evaluations are carried out within the project on local use cases across Europe and in other regions worldwide with the direct involvement of the industry stakeholders as part of the project consortium. Success stories are disseminated on various marketing platforms, covering an increasing number of relevant business cases.
The main business concept is oriented on worldwide business exploitation. Easy upscaling is prerequisite and implemented through the distributed cloud computing approach of the main service frontend- and backend modules: Of client accounting subscription and service trigger mechanisms, mainly building a SaaS (Software as a Service) business concept, which imbeds different cloud infrastructures from the network of service providers. The clear demonstration of the financial and administrative benefits through extended knowledge gain is key to grow client acceptance and the market uptake, including the consultancies, engineering companies, owners and financing institutions.
The key to a successful uptake of the service is the human component – understanding and market-acceptance. Through dedicated capacity building including trainings, workshops and B2B meetings the potential stakeholders will get acquainted with the HYPOS solution and also have the possibility to shape the solution according to their requirements.