Costs of solutions

From FIThydrowiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

One of the goals of the FIThydro project is to determine the financial costs of implementing ecological mitigation measures (solutions). During the project, costs associated with mitigation according to the categories of habitat, fish migration, sediment and flow were collected by consulting FIThydro partners via a questionnaire, examining the latest peer-reviewed literature, directly contacting European operators within the FIThydro network and using publically-available reports (Austria: Österreichs E-Wirtschaft, France: Hydro Electricité, Sweden: Vattenfall).

The following table represents a summary of the results of the cost data obtained for the Deliverable 4.3 General Cost Figures for Relevant Solutions, Methods, Tools and Devices. The detailed report with all results can be accessed via (D4.3). The table is intended to provide a general impression of the cost dimensions for mitigation measures. The values should therefore be interpreted as the ranges of costs for measures, rather than precise costs. The range estimates are based on case studies from different regions (Europe, North America and Australia). The costs from different regions have been converted to EUR using the average 2010-2019 exchange rate (0.82 for USD/EUR and 1.46 for AUD/EUR). Since there was limited information on what each case study included in the costs (planning, construction, monitoring, etc.), the costs are assumed to account for the entire project – unless otherwise specified. The values have been rounded based on expert judgement for improved readability. Minimum costs were rounded down and maximum costs were rounded up to the following increments: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 150, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 150000, 100000, 1000000. If only one value is provided, the cost estimate is based on a single case study. This table does not imply any claim to completeness or freedom from error.

Library of possible measures Min Max Unit Reference
[Euro] [Euro]
Habitat Instream habitat adjustments Placement of spawning gravel in the river 10 100 per cubic meter 1,2
Placement of stones in the river 50 150 per cubic meter 3
Cleaning of substrate - ripping, ploughing and flushing 1 50 per square meter 3
Fish refuge under hydropeaking conditions NA
Placement of dead wood and debris 10 150 per meter 4
Restoring habitat Removal of weirs 2,000 1,000,000 per weir 5,6
Construction of a 'river-in-the-river' 50 5,000 per meter 7
Construction of off-channel habitats 1 100 per square meter 8
Shoreline habitat Environmental design of embankments and erosion protection 10 150 per meter 3
Restoration of the riparian zone vegetation 1 50 per square meter 8
Fish migration Downstream Migration barrier removal 2,000 1,000,000 per project 5,6
Operational measures (turbine operations, spillway passage) NA
Sensory, behavioural barriers (electricity, light, sound, air-water curtains) 800 4,000 per m3/second 9
Fish-friendly turbines 500,000 per turbine 10
Skimming walls (fixed or floating) 3,000 per m3/second 11
Bypass combined with other solutions 10,000 25,000 per m3/second 12
Fish guidance structures with narrow bar spacing 2000 40000 per m3/second 11
Fish guidance structures with wide bar spacing 2000 40000 per m3/second 11
Bottom-type intakes (Coanda screen, Lepine water intake, etc) 17,000 per m3/second 9
Other types of fine screens NA
Upstream Complete or partial migration barrier removal 2,000 1,000,000 per project 5,6
Nature-like fishways 5,000 20,000 per vertical meter 13
Pool-type fishways 10,000 100,000 per vertical meter 19
Baffle fishways 5,000 100,000 per vertical meter 5,11,14
Fishways for eels and lampreys 600 per meter length 16
Fish lifts, screws, locks, and others 10000 500000 per project 11
Truck transport NA
Vertical slot fishways 5,000 20,000 per vertical meter 13
Sediment Routing Drawdown reservoir flushing 1 50 per cubic meter 15,17
Sediment sluicing NA
Removal By-passing sediments NA
Off-channel reservoir storage NA
Mechanical removal of fine sediments (dredging) 5 10 per cubic meter 15
Minimizing sediment arrival to reservoir 150,000 per Vortex tube 18
Environmental flow General flow regime Mitigating reduced annual flow and low flow measures NA
Mitigating reduced flood peaks, magnitudes, and frequency NA
Short-term flow regime Mitigating rapid, short-term variations in flow (hydro-peaking operations) NA

Cost data is available on upstream fish migration and habitat measures, whereas data for environmental flow and sediment management is limited. In general, there are two types of costs associated with fish migration facilities, (i) the costs of the structure itself (concrete or nature-like) and (ii) the discharge to run the facility. While the costs of the structure are tangible, the costs associated with flow releases and sediment management depend on several factors. In addition to structural requirements, cost calculations for flow release and sediment management must consider dynamic processes (water regulation and release) as well as long-term adaptive management. Further, these measures are strongly linked to production losses, which can vary (sometimes hourly) based on power prices on the open power market.

As there are no legal requirements or standards for reporting (either publically or privately) the costs of mitigation, the overall data situation is considered poor. A generalization of mitigation costs at hydropower plants is often challenging due to logistical, ecological and political factors. Available data differs greatly by measure type and is highly site-specific. The site-specific nature of hydropower also means that power plant owners face an array of ecological targets. To address multiple targets simultaneously and minimize expenses, operators tend to implement a combination of measures, which makes cost disaggregation for specific measures difficult (e.g., a natural fish pass supports fish migration as well as habitat provision). Thus, information about costs of specific mitigation measures are often difficult to obtain or unavailable. Furthermore, there is a high variability of costs and an inconsistency in reporting, which limits the comparison of costs across a larger number of studies (e.g. no specified information on land acquisition costs, legal costs, material costs, expenses for staff and renting machinery etc.).


  1. Personal communication G. Loy (2020). Verbund Innkraftwerke.
  2. Personal communication J. Zehender (2020). Bayerische Landeskraftwerke.
  3. Cramer, M.L. (ed) (2012). Stream Habitat Restoration Guidelines. Olympia, Washington, Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources, Transportation and Ecology, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, Puget Sound Partnership, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  4. Cederholm, C.J., Bilby, R.E., Bisson, P.A., Bumstead, T.W., Fransen, B.R., Scarlett, W.J., and Ward, J.W. (1997). Response of juvenile coho salmon and steelhead to placement of large woody debris in a coastal washing stream. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 17: 947-963. (cited in: Fischenich, C., and J., Jr. Morrow (1999). Streambank Habitat Enhancement with Large Woody Debris. EMRRP Technical Notes Collection (ERDC TN-EMRRP-SR-13). U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS.)
  5. CDFG (California Department of Fish and Game) (2004). Recovery strategy for California coho salmon. Report to the California Fish and Game Commission.
  6. Garcia de Leaniz, C. (2008). “Weir removal in salmonid streams: implications, challenges and practicalities.” Hydrobiologia 609: 83-96.
  7. Saldi-Caromile, K., Bates, K., Skidmore, P., Barenti, J., and Pineo, D. (2004). Stream Habitat Restoration Guidelines: Final Draft. Olympia, Washington, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Departments of Ecology and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  8. Evergreen (Evergreen Funding Consultants) (2003). A Primer on Habitat Project Costs. Prepared for the Puget Sound Shared Strategy.
  9. Turnpenny, A.W.H., Struthers, G., and Hanson, P. (1998). A UK guide to intake fish-screening regulations, policy and best practice with particular reference to hydroelectric power schemes. Harwell Laboratory, Energy Technology Support Unit, UK.
  10. Dewitte, M., Courret, D., Laurent, D., and Adeva-Bustos, A. (2020). Comparison of solutions to restore a safe downstream migration of fish at a low-head run-of-river power-plant. Fish Passage 2020 - International Conference on River Connectivity.
  11. Venus, T.E., Smialek, N., Pander, J., Harper, R., Adeva-Bustos, A., Harby, A., and Hansen, B. (2020). D4.3 General Cost Figures for Relevant Solutions, Methods, Tools and Devices. FIThydro Report.
  12. Ebel, G., Kehl, M., and Gluch, A. (2018). Fortschritte beim Fischschutz und Fisch-abstieg: Inbetriebnahme der Pilot-Wasserkraftanlagen Freyburg und Öblitz. Wasserwirtschaft, 108, 54-62.
  13. Rutherfurd, I.D., Jerie, K., and Marsh, N. (2000). A Rehabilitation Manual for Australian Streams. Volume 2. Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation & Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology.
  14. Porcher, J. P., and Larinier, M. (2002). Designing Fishways, Supervision of Construction, Costs, Hydraulic Model Studies. Bulletin Français de La Pêche et de La Pisciculture, (364 supplément), 156–165.
  15. Rovira, A., and Ibàñez, C. (2007). Sediment management options for the lower Ebro River and its delta. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 7(5), 285-295.
  16. Pulg, U., Stranzl, S., Espedal, E., Postler, C., Gabrielsen, S., Alfredsen, K., and Fjeldstad, H.-P. (2020). Effektivitet og kost-nytte forhold av fysiske miljøtiltak i vassdrag Effektivitet og kost-nytte forhold av fysiske miljøtiltak i vassdrag. Bergen.
  17. Espa, P., Castelli, E., Crosa, G., and Gentili, G. (2013). Environmental effects of storage preservation practices: controlled flushing of fine sediment from a small hydropower reservoir. Environmental management, 52(1), 261-276.
  18. Personal communication A. Doessegger (2020). Regionalwerke Schweiz.
  19. Thueringer State Office for the Environment, Mining and Nature Conservation (Landesamt für Umwelt, Bergbau und Naturschutz). Available online: