A problem in the near future
Large developments of solar and wind power are already providing electricity to people all over the world, and so far it's going well. This is because both coal and gas power have the same properties as hydropower in that it is possible to adjust production up and down in relation to how much energy people use.
But what happens when they are phased out? Potentially, we will end up having an energy system where we do not have the opportunity to adjust production based on consumption, and we may not get access to electricity when we need it.
Here hydropower can start its new heyday. Not because we export electricity from Norway, but with technology that allows hydropower to be used in a more flexible way.
For example, by conserving the water in the reservoirs in periods where there is a surplus of energy, or using the surplus of energy to pump water up and thus store energy for later. In this way, hydropower balances energy consumption and energy production. This also means that if more power is developed in existing hydropower plants, it will be possible to balance a larger proportion with non-regular energy production such as wind and solar power
Increased demand in Norway as well
In Norway, almost all electrical energy comes from hydropower, but it is expected that the need for electricity will increase significantly, among other things, because transport is being electrified and due to the development of new green industrial companies. It is not likely that large new hydropower plants will be built, so the need for energy must come from other sources such as solar and offshore wind in this country as well.
The hydropower plants were not built with a view to delivering the effect that will be necessary in the future, and HydroCen has therefore researched how these can be adapted to the necessary flexible operation needed.
It is also still possible to extract a lot of new renewable energy from existing hydropower.