Switzerland’s electricity supply is dominated by hydropower (ca. 60% of yearly generation). The role of hydropower within the ongoing energy transition, its long term future, and the importance of hydro related aspects on the local level are important elements of the political debates.

Within this topic cluster, the FoNEW team is mostly active along two research streams:

  1. Economic assessment of hydropower: Based on detailed plant specific model assessments as well as our Swiss electricity market model (Swissmod) we evaluate the chances and threats hydro plants face in a changing electricity market environment.
  2. Interplay of hydropower economics and the environment: Changed market conditions will lead to changes in the operation of hydropower plants. This in turn will have impacts on the hydrology and subsequent on the biotopes along Swiss river and lake systems. Similar, environmental changes (especially climate change) will have an impact on the hydrological conditions for Swiss hydro. The FoNEW team aims to breach the gap between those market and environmental aspects of hydropower.

Working Paper

Journal Paper

Datasets and Models

Price Scenarios up to 2030 used in
Schillinger, M., Weigt, H., Barry, M., & Schumann, R. (2017) "Hydropower Operation in a Changing Market Environment - A Swiss Case Study"
are available as Excel (Link)

Further information on more general market modeling and available data is provided here

Projects and Reports

The FoNEW team is involved in the NRP70 project "The Future of Swiss Hydropower: An Integrated Economic Assessment of Chances, Threats and Solutions (HP Future)"
Information, reports, and papers are provided on the project webpage (Link)