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Integration of Hydropower Plant Within an Existing Weir -- “A Hidden Treasure”

Author(s): M. Marence; J. S. Ingabire; B. Taks

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Abstract: Most of the best feasible hydropower sites in Europe have been developed and only half of technically feasible potential is still available for development. Construction of each new hydropower plant in Europe is loaded by very strong opposition and restrictive existing environmental and administrative procedures. These restrictions caused nearly full stagnancy in erection of new hydropower plants with capacity above 10 MW. Small scale hydropower potential is widely recognizable and development opportunities are significant, but implementation struggles also on restrictions and negative image. High construction costs and low energy prices in Europe, at the moment, additionally discourage new developers. Installation of new power plants in the existing water structures without hindering their primary functions could become an attractive solution, saving construction costs and minimized environmental impacts and negative public image. In this regards, the study of use of an existing weir structure developed for water management and navigation purposes, has been developed. The weir structure on Dommel River, in Sint Michielsgestel, province of North Brabant, the Netherlands has been constructed in 1970 is selected and analyzed in this study. A short overview of the hydropower situation in the Netherlands including hydro potential, possible solutions and trends, tariffs and legal regulations, and environmental and social constraints is also given.

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Year: 2016

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