E.-A. Gavanozis Vlassis, Updated context for water-energy development of Upper Achewloos - Western Thessaly system, Diploma thesis, 183 pages, Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering – National Technical University of Athens, November 2023.
Energy development represents an unquestionable objective for every society and a strategic priority of the ongoing era. The establishment and growth of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) as the primary electricity source of a country tends to become a national policy and the foundation of any green economic development model. The development of hydropower projects, as a form of Renewable Energy Source having as key pilar the water, requires thorough control and planning, which is implemented through water resource management. Water resource management is a highly intricate procedure that aims to respond and achieve, on the basis of specific principles, the satisfaction of various goals, often conflicting with one another. Crafting a water resource management policy exhibits several peculiarities because, for each system, the data, conditions, and requirements are unique. Furthermore, it is a dynamic procedure, since changes in the natural and the anthropogenic environment occur continuously, thus necessitating the updating of data, design parameters and goals. In this vein, the establishment of a management plan requires a detailed understanding of the characteristics, processes, and natural principles governing the system. The present thesis aims to highlight the Upper Achelous - Western Thessaly hydrosystem as one of the most significant water-energy hubs of the country. Its rich hydrodynamic potential, the long history of conflicting and reversible decisions regarding its management, and the urgent need to enrich Greece's energy mix with RES were the catalyst for conducting this research. This work comprises three primary sections. In the first part, we present the fundamental theoretical background defining a hydrosystem, as well as the characteristics of the study area. Understanding these principles is indispensable for the proper management of the system. In the second part, an update of the hydrological data over the area of interest is carried out by using HYDROGNOMON software, as these data consist the basis for constructing a runoff simulation model. In the third section, we setup and visualize different development scenarios via HYDROMENAS software,- 9 - and assess their performance, in terms of energy production and economic efficiency. In addition, we investigate the exploitation of the local wind potential, which is under development, in conjunction with the proposed pumped-storage system downstream of the Acheloos diversion tunnel. The results of these analyses emphasize the necessity for a transition from a phase of inertia and dormancy, to the boosting of innovative investments and activities that enhance the competitiveness of the economy, and the creations of an integrated, interconnected, and properly functioning energy market with higher efficiency and more friendly impacts to the environment.