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Sarawak Energy and Hydro-Québec agree memorandum of understanding

Sarawak Energy and Hydro-Québec have agreed a memorandum of understanding to share experiences and conduct technical exchanges on hydropower development.

In the video above, Dr Chen Shiun, general manager of research and development at Sarawak Energy, discusses the partnership.

He says: "We think we will be able to learn a lot from the experience in terms of how to address environmental and social issues. This is why we have decided to form a memorandum of understanding – to share information.

"From the Hydro-Québec side, I think that they see that Sarawak has been active in the tropics. In the future there will be many projects in this kind of climate, and they will want to make an effort to contribute in generating new knowledge."

The two companies formed a relationship after meeting at a world congress organised by the International Hydropower Association in Brazil, in 2011. Now that exchanges have grown, the memorandum provides a more formal framework to conduct exchanges on greenhouse gas research profiles of reservoirs, enviornmental follow-up efforts and studies in aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, geomorphology and water quality.

The memorandum is for an initial period of three years, but Dr Chen Shiun says that following on from it "maybe we will discover something else we can share".

IHA Board elections: call for candidates

Nominations have opened for the forthcoming IHA Board elections, which will take place between May and July 2015.

Board electionsThe elections will determine the IHA Board members that will lead the association’s work in the 2015–17 period.

“We encourage our members to participate widely in these elections,” said Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA. “We are hoping for a strong field of candidates, reflecting the diversity of experience and expertise that exists in our membership throughout the world.”

Election candidates must be either be an individual member of IHA, or employed by a corporate member.

If elected, candidates must also be willing to contribute in meeting the shared responsibilities of the Board, and commit to attend the majority of its meetings. The Board meets three times every year.

How to stand as a candidate

To stand as a candidate in the IHA Board elections, you need to fill in a nomination form, which you can download here, to confirm your interest.

The schedule for the 2015 elections is as follows:

  • 24 April: Closing date for candidate nominations
  • 19 May: Candidates are presented at the IHA General Meeting in Beijing, China, at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress29 May: Voting opens (electronic ballot forms are distributed to members) 
  • 24 July: Deadline for voting closes 
  • 31 July: Election results are announced 
  • 21–23 September: First meeting of the new Board, London, UK

You can read our five-step guide to standing in the board elections here.

If you wish to stand for election, please send your completed nomination form to elections@hydropower.org, fax it to +44 208 643 5600, or post it to IHA Central Office, International Hydropower Association, Nine Sutton Court Road, Sutton, London, SM1 4SZ, UK.

 

IHA hosts greenhouse gases workshops

On 1–5 December 2014, we hosted back-to-back workshops to transform knowledge on the greenhouse gas status of freshwater reservoirs into practical tools, bringing together leading scientists on the topic from around the world.

Greenhouse gases workshopsThe first of the workshops, convened by IHA, focused on developing a screening tool to estimate the impact of a reservoir on the greenhouse gas exchanges that occur in a river basin.

The screening tool is expected to be launched at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing.

The second workshop, convened by IEA-Hydro, moved forward the development of modelling guidelines in relation to the study of the greenhouse gas status of reservoirs.

Atle Harby, director of the Centre for the Environmental Design of Renewables (CEDREN), attended both workshops. He said: “We have seen cases where we actually think a hydropower reservoir is acting as a greenhouse gas sink. 

“If we can elaborate more on that and find out the best way to build hydropower, then it could really contribute by introducing renewables without creating more emissions.” 

Li Chong of China Three Gorges Corporation, another perticipant, said: “We hope that we can evaluate the GHG emission of China’s large hydropower projects by getting to know this tool. 

“Going forward, I hope we can reach a consensus on the modules, and help to promote our work relating to it.”

Tormod Schei, vice president and head of climate science at Statkraft, said: “We need to estimate this problem and get a quantitative grip on what is happening so we can give the correct picture. 

“IHA is doing a very good job on trying to come up with the tools that can be used in this context.”

Dr Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy Berhad, said: “The first objective of the tool is to understand which projects are high-risk and which are low-risk, so we know which are the good projects to pursue.

“If we can figure out the parameters influencing the greenhouse gas status of ecosystems, then we can do a better job because we will be able to come up with mitigation measures to improve on it.”

Video interviews with participants will be available in January 2015.

UNESCO-IHP is convening a session on water quality and greenhouse gases at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing. Find out more here.

 

IHA shortlisted for three Associations Excellence Awards

The International Hydropower Associations has been shortlisted in three categories of the Associations Excellence Awards 2015.

Association Excellence AwardsThe association made the final list for Overall Best International Association, Best Association Website, and Best Training Initiative for IHA Sustainability Partnerships.

The awards recognise individuals, teams and initiatives and highlight excellence in how associations operate and serve their members.

The full list of finalists is available here.

The new IHA website was launched in July 2014 after months of research and consultation with the association’s members, performance analysis, and creative development. It was unveiled in tandem with a new visual identity.

IHA Sustainability Partnerships are the association’s approach to implementing the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a tool that measures hydropower projects across a range of social, environmental, economic and technical considerations, aiming to continuously improve sustainability performance.

Through these partnerships, IHA facilitates a series of training workshops with hydropower companies to build capacity and understanding on how the tool can be used in a range of contexts, and to build and share knowledge on good, sustainable practices in hydropower development worldwide.

The award winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Friday 27 February 2015.

 

African Union confirmed as a partner of the 2015 World Hydropower Congress

The African Union Commission has confirmed it will be an official partner of the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing.

African Union flagThe event takes place on 19–21 May and will feature a special session on the future of hydropower in Africa, which will be co-convened by IHA and the African Union Commission.

Dr Elham Ibrahim, the AU’s commissioner for infrastructure and energy, said: “We are very pleased to announce this collaboration with the International Hydropower Association at a time when energy and infrastructure will be crucial to meeting Africa's vision for the next half century.

"Hydropower is central to our targets for growth, yet around 92 per cent of the hydropower potential across Africa has not been developed. Achieving this vision will not be possible without consensus between governments, industry and civil society, so the World Hydropower Congress will give us a great opportunity to further the dialogue."

You can read a blog post by Dr Elham Ibrahim on the role of hydropower in Africa here.

Richard Taylor, chief executive of IHA, said: “Africa will be a key market for new hydropower development between now and 2050, so we are delighted to strengthen our collaboration with the African Union.

“Our focus will be on how Africa’s great untapped resources can be utilised in a sustainable way to bring hundreds of millions of people out of energy poverty.”

You can find out more about the World Hydropower Congress here.

 

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