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Hydropower in Brazil through the lens of the water-energy nexus

Semertzidis, Theodoros; (2019) Hydropower in Brazil through the lens of the water-energy nexus. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Brazil’s high historical dependency on hydroelectricity, coupled with recent severe droughts in the Southeast and the Northeast, has unveiled water availability issues that affect the electricity sector. The relationship of water and energy and its importance is recognised in literature, but there is still scope for advancements regarding methods for the link between resources. By using the Water-Energy Nexus concept, this study suggests a model calculating evaporation and water consumption of hydropower, as well as performing a water budget analysis for individual reservoirs, states, and regions for the Brazil case study. The analysis is performed for 163 reservoirs for the time periods 2010-2016 and 2015-2049. The model was designed to overcome spatial and temporal issues that inhibit water models to be meaningfully linked to energy models. The time step for evaporation and water consumption is hourly, and daily for the water budget analysis, while political spatial boundaries are used, along with hydrological boundaries for estimating future projections of river flows. Detailed future climatic scenarios for the reservoirs were created to perform a future scenario analysis of the main hydropower system of Brazil. For every 1°C future increase in temperature, the average annual evaporation increase will be around 90mm. Seasonality is important since evaporation varies (69-151mm per month). Water footprint values increase in the future, reaching a high of 147-201 m3/MWh in the North. While, reservoir levels can periodically drop enough in the 2015-2049 timeframe, that electricity production will be impossible to even 30% of particular months in the Southeast and 35% in the Northeast. Furthermore, water availability through the use of capacity factors is proposed as a link with energy models, and an example is presented. Finally, results are discussed in order to offer insight regarding policy implications for the future of hydropower in Brazil and elsewhere.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Hydropower in Brazil through the lens of the water-energy nexus
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084172
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