Energy crisis in Brazil: Impact of hydropower reservoir level on the river flow

Julian David Hunt, Andreas Nascimento, Carla Schwengber ten Caten, Fernanda Munari Caputo Tomé, Paulo Smith Schneider, André Luis Ribeiro Thomazoni, Nivalde José de Castro, Roberto Brandão, Marcos Aurélio Vasconcelos de Freitas, José Sidnei Colombo Martini, Dorel Soares Ramos, Rodrigo Senne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Water management strategies can have considerable impacts on the regional climate and hydrology. It is usually the case that the construction and operation of hydropower reduce the river flow downstream due to the increase in evaporation. However, this paper shows that in humid regions, such as in Brazil, the hydropower storage reservoirs contribute to increase the flow of the river. This observation has been tested with historical reservoir levels and river flow data from several dams in Brazil. It was found that the operation of reservoirs in Brazil has a considerable impact on its river flows. The higher the storage level at the beginning of the humid period, the higher the river flow during the wet period. The paper proposes strategies to allow the reservoirs to fill up and to maintain the reservoirs filled in the future, with the intention of increasing hydropower generation and reducing the intermittency of other renewable energy sources.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnergy
Volume239
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • Pollution

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