According to IHA’s database of hydropower statistics, over half of the world’s current 1000 GW of installed capacity will have undergone or are scheduled to undergo renovations for the purpose of upgrading and modernisation.
By 2050, the entire 1000 GW of current capacity will have required modernisation. Modernisation of hydropower infrastructure can include: plant life extension; automation; repurposing; operating mode optimization (i.e., transitioning from baseload supply to peak-only and vice-versa); and installing different types of equipment (i.e., higher capacity turbines, quicker temporal variation etc.).
The need to modernise raises a number of challenges and opportunities, especially when coupling the long lifetimes of civil infrastructure with an uncertain future of a changing climates, variable energy mixes, and volatile markets.
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