Study on environmental effects of hydro electric power stations in Vietnam
Deltares is to conduct a study into the effects of a chain of upstream hydro electric power stations on the environment downstream. This study provides Deltares with the opportunity to apply its hydrological knowledge, especially in the field of downstream boundary conditions.
Reason for this study is the rapid construction of small-scale hydropower plants in Vietnam in the framework of renewable energy generation. It concerns smaller capacity power plants of less than 30 MW. These plants are being constructed in tributaries of the Red River in remote mountainous areas in North Vietnam. The result of this dynamic construction, is the creation of a whole chain of installations and small dams in a river.
Although an environmental study was carried out for each of these plants, the effect of this chain of dams on the environment downstream has not yet been studied. This is now going to happen. Among others, a study will be carried out as to the minimum water drainage required for the downstream ecosystems and water needs, for instance for irrigation. In addition, the possibility of joint management of the dams will be examined. Compared to individual management of the dams, joint management can result in an increase in energy generation
The study, commissioned by The World Bank, will take one year. The World Bank set up a consortium of researchers, of which Deltares is the head contractor. The consortium is further composed of SWECO Norway and two Vietnamese knowledge institutes. SWECO has been contracted because of its knowledge in the field of river ecology and optimization of hydropower plants.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade is also interested in this study, because it will only continue promoting small-scale energy generation if this method proves to be sustainable.
For information: Marcel Marchand
Published:10 July 2012