Annex XVI: Hidden Hydro
The IEA Hydro is undertaking research on “Hidden Hydro” through its collaborative program, covering examples such as:
- Updating and refining existing hydropower inventories to seek additional feasible hydropower potential
- Developing and utilizing novel or improved hydroelectric machinery to harvest unused hydropower potential (e.g. low-head applications)
- Adding power to non-powered dams, as well as distribution infrastructure such as irrigation schemes, water supply schemes and environmental flow units (minimum flows and fish passage flows)
- Improving the performance of existing hydropower facilities
A significant advantage of “Hidden Hydro” is that, where the potential is associated with existing water resource infrastructure, such as old hydroplants, non-power dams and other water management facilities, there will be little or no incremental environmental/social impact.