Precipitation estimates for hydroelectricity

Francisco J. Tapiador, Arthur Y. Hou, Manuel De Castro, Ramiro Checa, Fernando Cuartero, Ana P. Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hydroelectric plants require precise and timely estimates of rain, snow and other hydrometeors for operations. However, it is far from being a trivial task to measure and predict precipitation. This paper presents the linkages between precipitation science and hydroelectricity, and in doing so it provides insight into current research directions that are relevant for this renewable energy. Methods described include radars, disdrometers, satellites and numerical models. Two recent advances that have the potential of being highly beneficial for hydropower operations are featured: the Global Precipitation Measuring (GPM) mission, which represents an important leap forward in precipitation observations from space, and high performance computing (HPC) and grid technology, that allows building ensembles of numerical weather and climate models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4435-4448
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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