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HydroBalance Project: Large-Scale Energy Balancing and Storage from Norwegian Hydropower


Europe experiences an increase in the share of renewable energy sources (RES). Increasing amounts of variable RES, such as wind and solar power, are integrated into the energy system. Consequently, the need for flexible power generation and energy storage grows. Hydropower offers an efficient and renewable way of storing energy, and at present, this is the only economically viable storage technology at large scale. Hydro storage uses reservoirs with natural inflow to store water for times when power generation is required. Pumped storage generates power in periods with high electricity demand and/or prices, while it pumps water back to higher elevation in times of surplus power and/or low electricity prices. Norway's hydropower system with a great number of dams and reservoirs has a large potential for providing flexible generation and energy storage in the European electricity markets.
The HydroBalance project analyses the balancing and storage demand, assesses relevant business models and market mechanisms, investigates environmental consequences of new operational regimes in reservoirs, and analyses needs regarding regulatory framework and public acceptance. The findings will create the basis for the development of a roadmap for the deployment of large-scale energy balancing and storage from Norwegian hydropower. In the first main step of the roadmap development, scenarios for the future role of Norwegian hydropower with respect to provision of flexibility and storage to the European energy system are built. These scenarios define the scope, boundary conditions and framework for the analyses carried out in the other work packages. The results of these analyses will eventually feed back into the roadmap towards the end of the project. The roadmap aims at pointing out steps in the process of exploiting the flexibility of Norwegian hydropower, by drawing time lines for such use of hydropower until the year 2050, and addressing drivers and limitations regarding the political framework, environmental requirements, public acceptance, business models and investment needs.




  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 193818
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 228714





  • SINTEF Energy Research / Energisystemer
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
  • Unknown

Presented at

UK Energy Storage Conference 2014




25.11.2014 - 27.11.2014


University of Warwick



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