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Hydro dam cost

The hydro dam cost consists of the costs of the following elements:

It has been assumed that the existing 8.1 GW will always be used. Renovations, dams height increases and new plants will contribute to increase electricity production from hydro dam in 900 GWh/year by 2050. This value do not include the electricity production reduction due to the effect of LEaux. The following table decomposses the electricity production increase. It has been created with the information from PROGNOS(2012)[3] and OFEN(2012)[2].

Electricity production increase potential (2050 compared to 2011) [GWh]
Dam height increase330
Renovation 462.5
New plants 107.5
Total 900

The use ($PotUse_i$) of the above listed potentials depends on the hydro dam slider as in the following equation,

$PotUse_i = Pot_i * \displaystyle \frac{8.2 - Slider}{8.2 - 1}$

where $Pot_i$ is the one of the electricity production increase potentials and $Slider$ is the Hydro dam slider value that is defined between 8.1 and 8.2 GW.


The extra capacity related to renovation is calculated from the electricity production increase, assuming a capacity factor of 0.244. Its specific investment cost is 3'239 CHF/kWe [4]. No O&M cost is considered as this cost is already accounted in the existing facilities.

Dam height increase

The fact on increasing the height of the dams has two effects:

  • Additional electricity production (as the potential energy is higher) = 330 GWh
  • The possibility to transfer electricity production from summer to winter. The higher storage capacity gives the option to turbine less water during summer, saving it for winter. It is has been estimated that the electricity production that can be moved from summer to winter can reach 2'400 GWh [5]. The cost for the dams increase is related to the new storage capacity that allows shifting the production (0.8 - 3 CHF/kWhe [5]). The storage capacity gained thanks to the dams increase also depends on the hydro dam slider and it is calculated considering the same equation as for evaluating the use of the potentials.

Existing and New plants

The extra capacity related to new plants is calculated from the electricity production increase, assuming a capacity factor of 0.244.

Specific investment [CHF2010/kWe]
MIN 4'750 [1]
MID 5'687 [1][4]
MAX 6'623 [4]
O&M cost [CHF2010/kWe]
21 [1][4]
Lifetime [years] 40 [1]


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cost_hydro_dam.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/22 09:17 (external edit)