The expansion and upgrade of existing hydropower plants represents a possible alternative to wind farm development.
The Norwegian public authorities’ estimates of the potential to expand the country’s power plants are probably too low. A new approach is creating opportunities for increased production while also enhancing environmental aspects.
The heated debate about onshore wind farm development has led to animated discussions about other renewable sources of electricity generation. Not least, a debate about how much additional power Norway can extract by upgrading and expanding existing hydropower facilities as a possible alternative to wind farm development plans.
The public authorities’ estimates for expansion potential are regarded as moderate. However, Norwegian researchers have now developed approaches involving so-called environmental design that make it possible to conserve natural habitats, while at the same time generating electricity profitably. The Sira-Kvina Power Company is among the first to apply the new approach.
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