Clean energy from water, wind and sun consists of 98% of the energy obtained from renewable sources. As a part of future energy production plans it could provide zero of greenhouse gases emissions into the environment.
Hydroelectric energy does not pollute the atmosphere and makes up to 8% of the energy portfolio of Ukraine. The potential of water energy is used by 60% due to Dniprovskiy Cascade and other large hydroelectric power. The last 40% can be implemented through the establishment of new facilities and the restoration old, small hydropower plants facilities.
Ukraine and Chernihiv Region’s Potential
Resources of small rivers constitute almost 28% of the total hydro potential of Ukraine. By using this it is possible to achieve significant savings of fuel and energy sources, encourage decentralization of overall energy system and solve a number of problems in the energy supply of remote areas. More information is available on the website of the Project USAID «Municipal energy reform in Ukraine."
According to the current classification: Small Hydropower (MHES) are hydroelectric power from 1 to 10 MW; mini-hydropower plants - from 200 to 1000 kW; micro-hydropower plants - less than 200 kW.
Therefore, the potential of small hydropower plants U
kraine is estimated at more than 3.0 billion kW / hour, most of which are located in the Carpathian region.
It is building cascade MHES on the river Teresva capacity of 16 MW as on reservoir complex setting.
Capacity of MHES, according to the development strategy of small hydropower in 2020 planned to prove till 700 MW, and in 2030 - up to 1040 MW. The legislation (Law “On Alternative Energy Sources", “On green tariff ") stimulates the construction of small hydropower plants.
In the Chernihiv region there operates one hydroelectric power plant, which was developed in 1947. Sedniv hydroelectric power station in the Chernihiv region produces per year more than 700.5 ths. kW of electricity, which enters the common energy grid of Ukraine. That is 178.2 million kWh / year (from 12.5 billion kWh / year - total potential of all regions) based on the distribution of total hydroelectric potential the small rivers in Ukraine. This amount of electricity is only enough for a half Sedniv (Area of 3.86 sq. Km).
Considering the technical indicators, hydropower plants are unique because of the longevity of their components; for instance there still operates high-quality Austrian equipment, installed in the 50's within the Sediv power station. These are the three turbines: "Francis" with power 85.7 kW and 3 generators "Siemens-Shukert" - 125 kW.
Developed countries are able to achieve a higher level of success using small hydropower plants. Capacity MHES, which are operated: in Japan - 3.5 million kW, Canada - 2 million kilowatts, France - 2.1 million kW, Germany - 1.6 million kW, Austria - 1.1 million kW, Norway - 1.4 million kW, Spain - 1.8 million kW, Switzerland - 0.8 million kW.
Using of Water Capacities in Poland
After reviewing the situation in Poland as the neighboring European country OPORA decided to talk with a representative of the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, the Institute of Environmental Protection and Development, Division of Land Reclamation - Pawel Bogusz.
- Tell us about hydro potential of Poland and if it using for the purpose of saving fuel and energy resources?
A theoretical hydro potential in Poland is 23 005 GWh/y, but the technical hydro potential is only 13 650 GWh/y. That means our potential is about 1% of the European potential. Because of the environmental and economic issues we calculate that the economical hydro potential is around 8 000 GWh/y.
Our potential is quite low. Poland is rather lowland country, the annual precipitation is also low, and permeability of grounds in Poland is high. Another problem is that our potential is unevenly spread across Poland.
Main reason for using hydro energy is money. All the private companies or individuals want to earn money. Especially top-pump power stations run that way. Of course there are many of people who care about our world and want to use renewable resources instead of non-renewable ones.
- What extent is hydropower potential using in Poland?
Poland is using around 17% of its technical potential. We produce each year around 2 000 GWh. This number varies every year due to the hydrological conditions. Energy produced in hydro power plants covers less than 2% of needs. In 1923-1935 there were 8 100 object using hydro energy in Poland, in 1982 only 2131. Today there are 750 small power plants running in Poland (676 in 2006). So the number is growing, but still can be much better.
- Whether small hydropower development will contribute the decentralization of overall energy system?
It will, but it won’t be a huge contribution. Hydro potential of Poland is too low and there are too many difficulties with regulations. The number of small stations is rising too slowly. Nowadays installed power of small hydro stations is ca. 225 MW. Economical potential is 2 500 GWh/y, with the installed power 540 MW. If we use 100% of economic potential than we can cover up to 8% needs. But this number will get lower every year. Do not forget that people needs more and more energy. We also must exchange old industrial devices with the new, energy efficient ones, to keep that 8%.
- If minor hydropower can assist in the energy supplying of remote and inaccessible rural areas?
They might help, but only in areas where hydropower plant can be built. The energy network covers almost whole country. There are few areas without connections to the network, mostly small camping houses. When the hydro power station produced the energy, it sells it to the network. In that meaning they will help. But there are also small hydro stations not connected to the network which can supply with the energy those areas. Mostly they are really small with installed power able to cover needs of only few houses.
- How many hydroelectric power stations running in Poland and how effective they are?
An exact number is not known. There are 750 small power stations registered with the installed power ca. 225 MW. There are also 128 larger hydropower plants with the installed power of 2146 MW. In 2003 they’ve produced 3 110 GWh of energy. Most of that is produced in 18 large stations with the installed power >5 MW.
The efficiency of the turbines depends on hydrological conditions. If there is a small quantity of water in the river than less energy can be produced. According to our regulations there must be a minimum flow that allows water organisms to survive.
- How hydroelectric energy in Poland is combined with the concept of sustainable development?
All the improvements are needed. For sure hydro energy system needs to be developed. But there are many problems with that. Not only economical or with the regulations. The most important issue is environment. A damming structure is needed to build a hydro power station. Below this structure bottom erosion processes increases, and if we want to stop them, we must build another structure. Before the dam water slows down. That leads to decreased oxygen conditions in the river. A dam makes a barrier across the river and turbines can damage fish. EU law forces us to build fish-ladders. Unfortunately most of them are made incorrectly and the fish cannot migrate through it. Too many fish-ladders on the way of fish upstream, can delay them for the spawning. Many of the fish are even too exhausted to migrate upstream if there are too many fish-ladders.
But the energy produced using hydro power stations (not a top-pump) is clean and cheap. So it’s a hard question whether to use all technical potential, or to be more sustainable.