Report reservoir GHG emissions with the G-res Tool v3.0

Featuring an improved user interface and modifications on how results will be calculated, a newly updated version of the G-res Tool will provide companies and researchers with a more intuitive experience for calculating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from reservoirs.

Developed through a multi-stakeholder research project led by the International Hydropower Association and the UNESCO Chair in Global Environmental Change, the G-res Tool is a free-to-use, online tool which can be used to predict net GHG emissions caused by reservoirs without researchers needing to venture into the field to take these measurements.  

The results generated from the tool give investors, regulators and local communities greater confidence regarding a reservoir’s climate profile and carbon footprint.

Already a decade into development, the tool was developed using a conceptual framework created with scientists from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), the Norwegian Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF) and the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE), with assistance from the World Bank.

The industry-need for the G-res Tool

When planned and designed correctly, hydropower is regarded to be among the lowest-carbon sources of renewable electricity generation. However, prior to the development of the G-res Tool there was no reliable and cost-effective way for practitioners to estimate the emissions created through building a reservoir itself, as well as pre-existing conditions and naturally occurring emissions. Additionally, these concerns were exasperated by the need to continually send researchers to reservoirs to physically collect emissions data.  

How the G-res Tool works

Operating entirely online, the G-res Tool uses readily available input data to estimate any changes in emissions which result from the impoundment of an existing or planned reservoir. The tool also factors-in emissions from construction and allocates these to various reservoir purposes and other human activities in the catchment.

Once calculated, the data then undergoes an independent validation which attests to the quality of the results. This methodology is based on empirical measurements from over 200 reservoirs worldwide. The validation then allows practitioners to publicly report on the estimated GHG emissions within their official documents; this allows for the results gained through the tool to formally advance a reservoir project and help benchmark organisational objectives.  

The latest v.30 update

Following the publication of a peer-reviewed scientific paper about the G-res models, the new version of the G-res Tool will feature a technical update to the 4 underlying models available, as well as improved user interface and visual updates to the layout for greater clarity. In addition to this, the tool has received revisions to variables calculation, including details for secondary intakes and offering users a choice on whether to include UAS emissions.

These technical updates are another step towards advancing an efficient and cost-effective industry tool which will aid in the global fight to reduce GHG emissions in reservoirs around the world.  

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