Hydropower has been used for a wide variety of purposes for centuries. In the Middle Ages it was used to power mills and since the mid-19th century it has been used to generate electricity. The greater the difference in height in a source of flowing water is, the greater the convertible potential energy of the water. The flow speed of the water moves the turbines in a hydroelectric power plant which in turn drive the generators and thereby produce electricity.
Hydroelectric power plants can be found mainly in areas where there are many rivers with great height differentials, such as Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg. Since these features are lacking in the landscape of Schleswig-Holstein, water has traditionally played a rather minor role as a source of energy in the north. A total of 24 hydroelectric plants fed 5 million kWh into the power grid in 2014 (Föderal Erneuerbar - Wasser).
But even in this area there is great potential for research and innovation in Schleswig-Holstein. And one cannot forget the energy that is hidden in the tidal range and the motion of the waves of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. World-wide research in various directions is underway seeking ways to exploit these sources of power e.g. through tidal, current, ocean heat or osmosis-based power plants.
Do you have project ideas in the field of hydropower? Are you searching for competence partners or do you want to learn about research options?