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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Biodiversity Restoration and Renewable Energy from Hydropower: Conflict or Synergy?

Tafesse Tirkaso, Wondmagegn; Gren, Ing-Marie; Sandin, Leonard; Segersten, Joel; Spjut, David; Degerman, Erik;

Abstract

Hydropower plants have a negative impact on biodiversity by transforming stream habitat and hydrology and thereby affecting aquatic organisms negatively. The negative effects can be mitigated by releasing water into the old river bed. This study investigates if the measure of releasing water creates costs and if ecological conditions at the old river bed contribute to such an impact. To this end, we used the cost-minimization framework in economics for deriving hypotheses. Tests were made with data from a survey to 76 hydropower plants in Sweden with questions on existence of a cost, size of the plant, type of water release from reservoirs, characteristics of the dried downstream old river bed, and official statistics on ecological status of the downstream dried segments. The results showed that 42% of the plants reported no cost, measured as impact on electricity production, from release of water into downstream old river bed. We applied logit and probit models to explain the probability of a cost. Significant results were obtained were the electricity produced and program for minimum water discharges increase the probability of loss in electricity production, but favorable ecological conditions in the old river bed decrease the probability of a cost.

Keywords

hydropower; biodiversity; streams and rivers; restoration; old river bed; cost; survey data; econometrics; Sweden

Published in


Book title: Selected Studies in Biodiversity
ISBN: 978-1-78923-232-5, eISBN: 978-1-78923-233-2
Publisher: IntechOpen

Authors' information

Tafesse Tirkaso, Wondmagegn (Tafesse Tirkaso, Wondmagegn)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Spjut, David
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Degerman, Erik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources

UKÄ Subject classification

Economics
Business Administration

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.69134

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/95624