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Stochastic Hydrology and Water Resources


In this line of research Cepel develops methodologies and software programs for:


(i) Scenario generation and forecast of water/energy inflows– The predominance of the hydraulic source in the Brazilian energy mix requires the representation, , as accurately as possible, of the uncertainties in the future inflow scenarios for the hydro plants in the methodologies and models developed for expansion and operation planning. In this sense, Cepel has developed and is continuously improving stochastic models for the daily, weekly and monthly inflows forecast, as well as models for the generation of synthetic multivariate scenarios of water inflows and inflow energies. For this task a periodic autoregressive stochastic modeling is applied, which takes into account spatial and temporal correlations as well as variance reduction techniques such as selective sampling. More recently, climate variables have also been introduced in such model.

(ii) Flood control – Since the 1970s, part of the capacity of the reservoirs of the Brazilian hydropower system is being used to mitigate floods, and operation planning must carefully allocate the waiting volumes for flood control in each reservoir of the system. Since then, Cepel has been working to develop methods, criteria and programs to calculate the optimal waiting volumes in multi-reservoir systems and basins that have high seasonality, also considering data related to the oscillation of general atmospheric circulation, known as “El Niño phenomenon". Cepel has also developed models for Flood Control Operation in a daily level.

(iii) Analysis of climate changes – Different from Brazil, the electric sector worldwide has been a major player of global climate changes. Regardless of the associated mitigation actions, the issue that currently arises is related to the capacity to develop and implement low carbon technologies, as well as the adaptation capacity. In other words, it is necessary to develop methodologies and tools that are able to answer such questions as: how the increase in temperature, rainfall changes and more frequent occurrence of extreme climate events impact today and will impact in the future the energy sector in terms of energy demand, energy supply and even in relation to its infrastructure and assets; how the power sector should be prepared to minimize the impacts of climate changes and what are the adaptation strategies at national, regional and local levels. On the other hand, the International Energy Agency estimates that 15% of fresh water withdrawn worldwide is used by the energy sector and, aligned with economic and population growth, the global demand for energy and water tends to increase. In addition, climate changes may exacerbate water stress. Therefore, the nexus water and energy becomes a critical component of both mitigation and adaptation strategies. One way to answer those questions consists in developing methodologies to narrow the gap between climate models and energy simulation / optimization, a strategy that Cepel has been adopting.




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