New hydropower potentials in the Northern French Alps

Drinking water and waste water pipes networks can be used to produce hydropower. The examples from the pilot sites in the French Alps show how this can be done economically, by taking the environment into account and by avoiding conflicts of use.

In the French Alps, the most favourable sites for hydroelectricity production are already used. How can hydroelectricity still be used and developed at the local scale? The answer to this question developed within recharge.green was the use of drinking water and waste water pipes networks. For three pilot sites the company “Tenevia”, on behalf of the Mountain Institute, developed and tested an integrated spatial decision support system. Based on an analysis of the pilot sites and the water availability the hydroelectric potential was modelled for different development scenarios.

At the pilot site “Megève”, the municipality is using the drinking water pipes to additionally produce hydropower when tourist frequentation is the highest. Also in the municipality of Valloire touristic frequentation is highly variable and energy production from waste water pipes is managed accordingly.

Further information: http://www.institut-montagne.org/index.php/nos-realisations/recherche-action/299-recharge-green-balancing-alpine-energy-and-nature, http://www.recharge-green.eu/project/policy-testimonials/ (video on the Megève pilot site), http://www.recharge-green.eu/pilot-areas/northern-french-alps/

The Mountain Institute presented a poster on its activities in recharge.green at the 4th International Congress of Integrated Management in Upstream Watersheds and won the 1st prize for the best poster.

The Mountain Institute presented a poster on its activities in recharge.green at the 4th International Congress of Integrated Management in Upstream Watersheds and won the 1st prize for the best poster. (c) Institut de la Montagne