Articles | Volume 68, issue 4
Standard article
16 Dec 2013
Standard article |  | 16 Dec 2013

Auswirkungen der Klimaänderung auf die schweizerische Wasserkraftnutzung

R. Weingartner, B. Schädler, and P. Hänggi

Abstract. Hydraulic power contributes for a large part to electricity production in Switzerland. However, hydropower could be strongly affected by climate change. For that reason, the project CCWasserkraft – which results are summarised here – has been launched. In different studies, important aspects of the interactions between climate, hydrology and hydropower were investigated. Comprehensive simulations in representative catchments allowed quantifying the impacts of climate change on discharge and hydropower production. Finally, the results were extrapolated to whole Switzerland. The results show that significant changes are likely in the near future 2021–2050: an increase of hydropower production is projected for the winter half year, whereas stagnation or a decrease is expected in the summer half year. On the whole, the yearly hydropower production should remain constant or could even increase slightly. Projections for 2070–2099 remain uncertain. However, hydropower production from highly glaciated catchments located in southern and eastern Valais as well as catchments south of the Alps is expected to decline.