We expand the renewable technology model palette and present a validated high resolution hydro power time series model for energy systems analysis. Among the weather-based renewables, hydroelectricity shows unique storage-like flexibility, which is particularly important given the high variability of wind and solar power. Often limited by data availability or computational performance, a high resolution, globally applicable and validated hydro power time series model has not been available. For a demonstration, we focus on 41 Chinese reservoir- based hydro stations as a demo, determine their upstream basin areas, estimate their inflow based on gridded surface runoff data and validate their daily inflow time series in terms of both flow volume and potential power generation. Furthermore, we showcase an application of these time series with hydro cascades in energy system long term investment planning. Our method's novelty lies in:
- it is based on highly resolved spatial-temporal datasets;
- both data and algorithms used here are globally applicable;
- it includes a hydro cascade model that can be integrated into energy system simulations.