PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

The Indus basin: Untapped potential for long-term energy storage

2021-07-20
(Press-News.org) Hydropower has massive potential as a source of clean electricity, and the Indus basin can be a key player in fulfilling long-term energy storage demands across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. IIASA researchers explored the role the Indus basin could play to support global sustainable development.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the growth of hydropower plants worldwide is set to slow down this decade. This puts at risk the ambitions of countries across the globe aiming to reach net-zero emissions while ensuring reliable and affordable energy supplies for their citizens. Even so, there are thousands of dams planned to be built this next decade. New hydropower dams installed worldwide are forecasted to increase global hydroelectricity capacity from the current 1,200 gigawatt (GW) to around 1,700 GW. Many of these dams are being built in countries with emerging economies, such as those in the Balkan region, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. Hydropower is very important in reaching net zero goals, not only because of its ability to produce clean energy, but also because of its capabilities in terms of energy storage. The Indus basin, which stretches across parts of Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan, is one area with huge hydropower potential due to its high altitudes and large water availability.

According to Pakistan's State of Industry Report, 100% of Pakistan's hydropower already comes from the Indus basin, and much of the region's potential has yet to be tapped into. Additionally, an investigation into medium sized hydropower projects in Pakistan revealed that the Indus basin is the region with the largest and cheapest seasonal energy storage potential.

IIASA researchers explored the future of hydropower in the Indus region in a new paper published in the Journal of Energy Storage. They focused much of their research on the costs and benefits of hydropower, water storage, and long-term and short-term energy storage in the Indus Basin. They considered the potential and costs of conventional hydropower dams, as well as seasonal pumped hydropower storage. Unlike conventional dams, which are built in the cross sections of main rivers, seasonal pumped hydropower storage plants act as artificial reservoirs off the main river usually at higher altitudes with a built in power or pumping station that generates hydroelectric power or fills up the reservoir.

According to the researchers, many of the challenges faced in the Indus region regarding hydropower are due to larger water management issues. These issues stem from high population growth seen in the area coinciding with rapid urbanization, industrialization, environmental degradation, lack of water storage infrastructure, and outdated irrigation systems. The seasonality of the Indus region is something else the team had to consider. The Indus River deals with droughts in the winter and monsoon season, and melting snow and ice masses from the mountains in the summer. This considerably increases the flow of the river with many regular flooding events also occurring. Land changes from climate change and reduced groundwater levels further exacerbate flooding events and water scarcity.

To gather their data, the researchers used different models estimating power potentials as well as their corresponding costs. They incorporated five essential components: the physical features of the area, the river network and water flow data, infrastructure cost estimation, and project design optimization.

The researchers' models and analysis concluded that the Indus region has the potential to play a similar role in energy storage for Asia as the Alps does in Europe.

"We found that the levelized energy storage cost in the Indus region is US $1 per megawatt hour (MWh) for conventional hydropower and $2/MWh for seasonal pumped storage, which is the lowest cost long-term energy storage alternative in the world. Even cheaper than natural gas reinjection in empty gas reservoirs, these low costs can justify the use of seasonal pumped hydropower storage to store energy in a yearly, two-year, or three-year energy cycle. The levelized costs of energy storage with batteries is around $100/MWh. This makes hydropower energy storage 100 times cheaper and seasonal pumped hydropower storage 50 times cheaper. For this reason, these are good solutions for long-term energy storage," explains study lead-author Julian Hunt.

As more countries industrialize and develop their economies, growing energy demands are sure to follow. Having long-term energy storage using low emission methods like hydropower is important, especially during the era of climate change. The Indus basin can serve as a global supply.

"During the summer when there is high availability of water in the Indus basin, for example, excess solar power in northern hemisphere countries can be used to pump water in seasonal pumped hydropower storage plants in the basin, so that hydropower can be generated during the winter. With an integrated hydrogen and battery economy in the future, the region could serve as the world's long-term energy storage hub," Hunt concludes.

INFORMATION:

Reference Hunt, J., Falchetta, J, Parkinson, S., Vinca, A., Zakeri, B., Byers, E., Jurasz, J., Quaranta, E., et al. (2021). Hydropower and seasonal pumped hydropower storage in the Indus basin: pros and cons. Journal of Energy Storage DOI: 10.1016/j.est.2021.102916

Contacts:

Researcher contact Julian Hunt
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Sustainable Service Systems Research Group
Energy, Climate, and Environment Program
Tel: +43 2236 807 675
hunt@iiasa.ac.at

Press Officer Ansa Heyl
IIASA Press Office
Tel: +43 2236 807 574
Mob: +43 676 83 807 574
heyl@iiasa.ac.at

About IIASA:

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policymakers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by prestigious research funding agencies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. http://www.iiasa.ac.at



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Is bacterial acidity a key to tackle antimicrobial resistance?

2021-07-20
Decreasing bacterial acidity could help reduce antimicrobial resistance by eliminating bacteria that can survive being treated with antibiotics. Scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a novel method, which allows users to measure the pH of individual bacteria before, during and after treatment with antibiotics. The research, published in the journal mBio, lays the foundation for understanding the special properties of bacteria that survive being treated with antibiotics, so that new ways of targeting them can be developed. The Exeter University research team found that even before antibiotic treatment, common infection causing Escherichia coli cells that can survive treatment have a more acidic intracellular pH compared to clonal cells that are eliminated ...

Capturing electrons in space

Capturing electrons in space
2021-07-20
Interstellar clouds are the birthplaces of new stars, but they also play an important role in the origins of life in the Universe through regions of dust and gas in which chemical compounds form. The research group, molecular systems, led by ERC prize winner Roland Wester at the Institute for ion physics and applied physics at the University of Innsbruck, has set itself the task of better understanding the development of elementary molecules in space. "Put simply, our ion trap allows us to recreate the conditions in space in our laboratory," explains ...

Digital technology driving tangible advancements in Parkinson's disease research and clinical care

2021-07-20
Amsterdam, July 20, 2021 - Well over six million people globally have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD), which has an enormous impact on the lives of patients, their families, and caregivers and is incurring mounting costs for society. This special supplement to the Journal of Parkinson's Disease (JPD), guest-edited by noted experts Anat Mirelman, PhD, E. Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA, Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD, and Bastiaan R. Bloem, MD, PhD, reviews how digital technology is being used to reshape research and clinical care in PD. Digital health technology is an umbrella term that spans a diverse range of applications, including body-fixed wearable sensors, non-contactable domestic sensors, smartphone apps, and videoconferencing and other telemedicine systems that allow for direct remote ...

Study highlights socioeconomic, racial differences in the financing of medical education

2021-07-20
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (07/20/2021) -- National data analyzed by University of Minnesota Medical School researchers show that nearly 40 percent of all funds used to pay for medical school are expected to come from family or personal sources and scholarships. The prevalence of these sources, however, varies widely by race and socioeconomic status. Arman Shahriar, Varun Sagi and Lorenzo Gonzalez, all fourth-year students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, are co-lead authors of the study, which was published today in JAMA Network Open. "Financing a four-year medical education requires upwards of a quarter-million dollars, and this amount has been rising faster than inflation since the 1960s. Prior to this study, ...

How green is your plastic?

2021-07-20
Despite the best efforts of industry to work towards sustainability, most plastics (or polymers) are still made using non-renewable fossil fuels. However, researchers have now found an economical method for producing biobased acrylate resins. The study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, shows how all the synthesis steps, from initial building blocks right up to polymerization, can be carried out in a single reactor (one pot), minimizing environmental impact. Most varnishes, adhesives and paints are made from acrylate resins, which are polymers of acrylic acid esters and methacrylic acid esters. The raw materials that form these ...

Young forests are preferred summer vacation destinations for bats

2021-07-20
The sight of felled trees and logging activity can be jarring for nature lovers, but from those sites can sprout young forest growth that's especially attractive to a familiar inhabitant of wooded areas throughout the Northeast - bats. New findings from researchers at the UConn College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, published in Forest Ecology and Management, finds that a number of bat species native to the Northeast are highly active in newly created forest spaces, foraging for food at higher rates than is typical of mature forests. Little is known about ...

Take your best shot: Which SARS-CoV-2 vaccine should I get, if any?

Take your best shot: Which SARS-CoV-2 vaccine should I get, if any?
2021-07-20
Vaccine hesitancy continues to be a hurdle in the development of widespread immunity within the U.S. population as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have developed a computerized decision analytic model to compare projected outcomes of three vaccine strategies: a patient opts for a messenger RNA vaccine, a patient decides to get an adenovirus vector vaccine or the patient simply forgoes a vaccine altogether. Pfizer and Moderna produce mRNA vaccines while Johnson & Johnson manufacture an adenovirus vector vaccine. The decision analytic ...

Virginia Tech scientists uncover how a molecule improves appearance of surgery scars

Virginia Tech scientists uncover how a molecule improves appearance of surgery scars
2021-07-20
Surgical scars treated with a molecule called alphaCT1 showed a long-term improvement in appearance when compared to control scars, according to multicenter, controlled Phase II clinical trials - a finding that could help surgeons improve patient outcomes. Now, a public-private research team led by Rob Gourdie, professor and director of the Center for Vascular and Heart Research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, has revealed clues about why and how it improves the appearance of scars. The study, to be published in the August issue of the Federation ...

A foot tumor and two tail fractures complicated the life of this hadrosaur

2021-07-20
When it was discovered in the 1980s in Argentina, this hadrosaur was diagnosed with a fractured foot. However, a new analysis now shows that this ornithopod commonly known as the duck-billed dinosaur actually had a tumour some 70 million years ago, as well as two painful fractures in the vertebrae of its tail, despite which, it managed to survive for some time. This dinosaur, called Bonapartesaurus rionegrensis, was discovered in Argentinean Patagonia in the 1980s, and the first analyses of its fossils indicated an ailment of the foot, possibly a fracture, as the Argentinean palaeontologist Jaime Powell pointed out at the time. The study of this animal then came to a standstill until 2016, when Powell invited another team of scientists to resume ...

Review evaluates the evidence for an intensifying Indian Ocean water cycle

Review evaluates the evidence for an intensifying Indian Ocean water cycle
2021-07-20
The Indian Ocean has been warming much more than other ocean basins over the last 50-60 years. While temperature changes basin-wide can be unequivocally attributed to human-induced climate change, it is difficult to assess whether contemporary heat and freshwater changes in the Indian Ocean since 1980 represent an anthropogenically-forced transformation of the hydrological cycle. What complicates the assessment is factoring in natural variations, regional-scale trends, a short observational record, climate model uncertainties, and the ocean basin's complex circulation. A ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] The Indus basin: Untapped potential for long-term energy storage