Author, Institution: Gintaras Adžgauskas, Lithuanian Energy Institute
Dissertation title: Projection of hydropower resources of Lithuanian rivers in the context of climate change
Science area, field of science: Technological Sciences, Environmental Engineering, T004
Defense of the dissertation: 2023-05-31, 1:00 p.m., Lithuanian Energy Institute, AK-202 auditorium, Breslaujos st. 3, Kaunas, Lithuania.
Scientific Supervisor: Dr. Darius Jakimavičius (Lithuanian Energy Institute, Technological Sciences, Environmental Engineering, T004)
Dissertation Defense Board of Environmental Engineering Field:
- Chairperson – Prof. Dr. Žaneta Stasiškienė (Kaunas University of Technology, Technological Sciences, Environmental Engineering, T004)
- Dr. Vytautas Akstinas (Lithuanian Energy Institute, Technological Sciences, Environmental Engineering, T004)
- Prof. dr. Agrita Briede (University of Latvia, Latvia, Natural Sciences, Physical geography, P006)
- Prof. dr. Jolanta Dvarionienė (Kaunas University of Technology, Technological Sciences, Environmental Engineering, T004)
- Prof. dr. Arvydas Povilaitis (Vytautas Magnus University, Technological Sciences, Environmental Engineering, T004)
The doctoral dissertation is available on the internet and at the library of Kaunas University of Technology (K. Donelaičio g. 20, Kaunas) and Lithuania Energy Institute (Breslaujos st. 3, Kaunas)
The dissertation analyses the hydropotential and hydrokinetic energy resources of Lithuanian rivers. Worldwide, hydropower from conventional hydropower plants represents the largest share of renewable electricity and contributes to climate change mitigation. It is therefore necessary to assess Lithuania’s hydropotential (pond) and hydrokinetic (non-pond) energy resources. Lithuania’s and other EU countries’ renewable energy commitments up to 2030 are set out in the National Energy and Climate Plan. Using different climate models and climate scenarios, a projection of river runoff, on which the hydropower resources of rivers directly depend, has been made. The impact of small hydropower plants on the hydrological regime of rivers was assessed using the IHA approach. This study shows that in the future, changes in river discharge due to climate change in Lithuania will lead to a decrease in both kinetic and potential river hydropower resources and to a seasonal change in these resources: an increase in winter and a decrease in spring. The kinetic resources of Lithuania’s rivers, taking into account technical constraints, are estimated at 1350 GWh of electricity per year. A recommendation has been made to the legislators that, since the development of hydropower plants has been legally suspended, it is appropriate to draw up legislation to regulate the use of kinetic energy from Lithuanian rivers. It is recommended that the owners of small hydropower plants, taking into account the changes in production conditions in the near future, should reconstruct their hydropower plants in order to adapt their operation to the reduced runoff conditions, ensuring sustainable use of water resources.