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Greenhouse gas accounting in hydropower generation

SINTEF Energy Research participates in projects in collaboration with a number of international research groups and hydropower industries.

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Our expertise regarding greenhouse gas processes in hydropower systems range from how the gases arise, via measurement and assessment to complete net accounting and potential methods for preventive measures.

Since 2001 SINTEF Energy Research has participated in studies of greenhouse gas accounting in the hydropower industry at national and global level. In collaboration with Norwegian and international hydropower generators and research institutes we have contributed to elucidating the role of hydropower as a source of greenhouse gases. Whereas the focus was previously on gross emissions, it has now moved towards net emissions. In other words, we now consider what the greenhouse gas balance was in an area before the establishment of a hydropower system. We are constantly looking for new projects in order to confirm the diversity of greenhouse gas accounting around the world.

We are currently working in the following fields:

  • Measurement of greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, water vapour) emitted by hydropower systems
  • Assessment of greenhouse gas accounting in hydropower systems
  • Prediction of potential emissions of greenhouse gases in future hydropower systems
  • Net calculation of greenhouse gases ("before and after" calculations for net accounting)

Read about what we do in Environmental design of hydropower

We typically carry out the following types of project:

  • Measurement campaigns before and after the establishment of hydropower systems in order to set up a net accounting system
  • Net calculation of greenhouse gas accounting for hydropower projects enabling comparison with other relevant projects.
  • Research infrastructure for the implementation of measurement campaigns focusing on greenhouse gases
  • Knowledge of greenhouse gas challenges in different climatic zones
  • Advisory services related to greenhouse gas issues in hydropower projects
  • Estimation using official IPCC methods of greenhouse gas emissions from future hydropower systems
  • Connection between greenhouse gas accounting and water consumption in international projects

Why choose SINTEF?
Since 2001, SINTEF Energy Research has participated actively in a major international group focusing on greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower generation, co-ordinated as a UNESCO-IHA joint venture. Hence we have contact with an extensive network of both hydropower producers and international research scientists. SINTEF Energy Research and SINTEF Industry have together updated research infrastructure and access to laboratory facilities for the detailed measurement and analysis of greenhouse gases. SINTEF Energy Research and SINTEF Industry are among the world leaders in research into greenhouse gases emitted by hydropower generation and have experience from extensive measurement projects in Norway, Albania, Malaysia, Laos, China and Zambia, among other places.

Who are our clients?

  • The Norwegian hydropower industry operating in Norway and internationally
  • The international hydropower industry
  • IHA
  • IEA
  • A network of international research groups related to greenhouse gas issues

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