Strategic Energy Technologies Information System

Assessment of the European potential for pumped hydropower energy storage

This report presents the results of the assessment for pumped hydropower storage (PHS) in Europe under certain topologies and scenarios. The results show that the theoretical potential in Europe is significant.

Two different topologies were studied. Under topology 1 (T1), i.e. connecting two existing reservoirs to form a PHS system, the theoretical potential energy stored reaches 54 TWh for a maximum of 20 km between existing reservoirs; of this potential approximately 11 TWh corresponds to the EU and 37 TWh to candidate countries. Under topology 2 (T2), i.e. creating a new PHS system based on one existing reservoir and a suitable, nearby site for a second reservoir, the European theoretical potential reaches 123 TWh when the distance between the existing reservoir and the prospective site is up to 20 km. Unlike T1, in T2 the majority of this potential (50%) lies within the EU. The realisable potential accounts for reduced potential sites too close to a centre of population, protected natural areas or transport infrastructure. For T1 and scenario 20 km, the realisable potential is halved to 29 TWh, whereas T2 is slightly less affected and still reaches 80 TWh of which 33 TWh in the EU.

The European assessment is the result of individual country assessments, which in turn are based on data from identified individual sites. This data refers to the T1 theoretical, T1 realisable, T2 theoretical and T2 realisable potentials. In Table 2, section 2.1 of the report, a more detailed description is given.

The detailed data can be downloaded from this page.

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