Understanding Future Climate Impacts on Scotland's Hydropower Resource

N. J. Duncan, Gareth Harrison, Robin Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


To encourage the development of renewable energy the Scottish Government has adopted an aggressive target of meeting 50% of electricity demand from renewable energy by 2020. As hydropower currently makes up over 10% (1383 MW) of Scotland’s installed generation capacity (Department of Energy & Climate Change, 2009) it will make an important contribution towards the target. Additionally, a recent government funded study highlighted the potential for a further 657 MW of new capacity (Nick Forrest Associates Ltd., 2008), while Scottish and Southern Energy (2009) has announced its intention to construct 2 large pumped hydro storage schemes with combined capacity of around 1 GW. As such, hydropower’s importance is likely to increase in the future. The potential impact of future climate on the resource is not well understood, however, with marked changes to the seasonal distribution of precipitation widely anticipated. This paper will report findings of modelling work using a distributed hydrological model covering Scotland using the output from a regional climate model. These are compared with hindcasts driven by historic meteorological data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 6th International Conference on Hydropower: Hydropower '10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2010


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