One of the earliest stages of the electric sector expansion planning in Brazil is the Hydropower Inventory Studies, when alternatives for the exploitation of the river basin hydropower potential should be studied to select the one with the best energetic, economic and socio-environmental balance. Aiming the sustainable development of hydropower plants in environmentally sensitive areas, emphasizing environmental conservation, a more sustainable hydropower plant concept was developed. Therefore, since this benefit is not accounted in the existing positive socio-environmental impact index and to continue improving the Hydropower Inventory Studies, this article aims to propose a new criterion in the selection of the best alternative associated to the environmental benefits of this new concept of hydropower plants. The article also presents a study case in order to exemplify the applicability and consideration of this new index to choose the best alternative.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 152

I. Raupp, F. Costa (CEPEL e UFRJ)

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