Title: Assessing climate impacts on hydropower production: the case of the Toce river basin
Abstract: The aim of the presented study is to assess the impacts of climate change on hydropower production of the Toce Alpine river basin in Italy. For the meteorological forcing of future scenarios, time series were generated by applying a quantile-based error-correction approach to downscale simulations from two regional climate models to point scale. Beside a general temperature increase, climate models simulate an increase of mean annual precipitation distributed over spring, autumn and winter, and a significant decrease in summer. A model of the hydropower system was driven by discharge time series for future scenarios, simulated with a spatially distributed hydrological model, with the simulation goal of defining the reservoirs management rule that maximizes the economic value of the hydropower production. The assessment of hydropower production for future climate till 2050 respect to current climate (2001–2010) showed an increase of production in autumn, winter and spring, and a reduction in June and July. Significant change in the reservoir management policy is expected due to anticipation of the date when the maximum volume of stored water has to be reached and an increase of the reservoir drawdown during August and September to prepare storage capacity for autumn inflows.