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HPPs in High Mountain Areas

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Part of the Environmental Earth Sciences book series (EESCI)


Dams and power plants in areas of high mountains may present different conditions from projects at lower elevations. On the one hand, the higher the location of such a site the smaller the catchment area will be, which means comparatively small amounts of water, water which in addition in most cases will show a very marked seasonal flow pattern. On the other hand, the topography will often be suitable for forming reservoirs with a small surface, but a large storage volume, when deep and narrow valleys can be used, and they have the potential to offer high head which can be used by means of suitable headrace structures. In this chapter, two projects are presented, Mauvoisin in Switzerland and Pamir 1 in Tajikistan. The first one, in addition to presenting options for enhancement of an existing project, also serves as a case study emphasising the issue of entering discussions with an NGO which is opposing the project.

«Au grand barrage

On reprend la saison qui crache dans les bétonnières

Au milieu des grues métalliques pendues dans le vide à 3000»

“Le grand barrage”, Jean Pierre Huser,

D’un millénaire à l’autre, 2007

At the big dam

They resume the season that spits in the concrete plants

Amidst the metal cranes suspended in the void at 3000

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-91185-0_25
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Fig. 25.1
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Zwahlen, R. (2022). HPPs in High Mountain Areas. In: Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Hydropower Projects. Environmental Earth Sciences. Springer, Cham.

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