29. Pumped Storage Hydropower

  1. Prof. Detlef Stolten3,4 and
  2. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Viktor Scherer5
  1. Atle Harby1,
  2. Julian Sauterleute,
  3. Magnus Korpås,
  4. Ånund Killingtveit2,
  5. Eivind Solvang and
  6. Torbjørn Nielsen

Published Online: 21 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch29

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

How to Cite

Harby, A., Sauterleute, J., Korpås, M., Killingtveit, Å., Solvang, E. and Nielsen, T. (2013) Pumped Storage Hydropower, in Transition to Renewable Energy Systems (eds D. Stolten and V. Scherer), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch29

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, Leo-Brandt-Straße, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, 52425 Jülich, Germany

  2. 4

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEK-3 Institut für En. & Klimaforschung, Wilhelm-Johnen-Str., 52428 Jülich, Germany

  3. 5

    Ruhr-Universität Bochum LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 Universitätsstr. 150 LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 44780 Bochum Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    Stiftelsen SINTEF, Sem Sælands vei 11, 7465 Trondheim, Norway

  2. 2

    Department of Hydraulic & Environmental Engineering, S. P. Andersens veg 5, 7491 Trondheim, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 28 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527332397

Online ISBN: 9783527673872



  • hydropower;
  • mechanical energy storage;
  • power balancing;
  • pumped storage hydropower


Hydropower with reservoirs is the only form of renewable energy storage in wide commercial use today. Storing potential energy in water in a reservoir behind a hydropower plant is used for storing energy at multiple time horizons, ranging from hours to several years. Pumped storage hydropower plants (PSH) are designed to lift water to a reservoir at higher elevation when the electricity demand is low or when prices are low, and turbine water to produce electricity when the demand is high and/or prices are high. PSH are often designed with a relatively high capacity to operate in turbine or pumping mode for only a few hours each. Technically, PSH are equipped either with a separate turbine and pump or with a reversible pump turbine. They often use artificial reservoirs with limited capacity for storing water. The environmental impacts of PSH are similar to those from conventional hydropower plants. In addition, PSH may lead to additional threats to biodiversity by transferring water and species between sites. Special attention must be paid to environmental impacts caused by fluctuating reservoir levels. Future challenges for PSH development are connected with technical improvements to increase the potential head and the flexibility in pump mode, and also business models, grid connection, environmental and societal issues related to the increasing need for energy storage, and balancing services followed by the increased deployment of renewable and intermittent energy sources. This chapter includes results from a case study on large-scale energy storage and balancing services from Norwegian hydropower to Europe, showing the technical potential to develop 20 000 MW of new hydro of which about 10 000 MW includes pumping. Also included is a system analysis study showing how wind power production can benefit from a nearby hydropower plant with pumping capacity.