G-Res Tool Testimonial from João Pádua

João Pádua, Head of Environment Studies at EDP Labelec praises the GHG Reservoir (G-Res) Tool, a web-based tool that can be used to predict GHG emissions from reservoirs.

“I recommend the G-res tool for the clarity its application brings to the complex nature of hydropower, as well as for its robustness and technical and scientific coherence. Training is essential to understanding its bases, limitations, and the proper way to apply and interpret it.”

At EDP Labelec, a technical and laboratory services center of engineering, environment, preventive maintenance and innovation of EDP Group, which is a global integrated utility operating in twenty-nine markets, Pádua decided to become trained in the tool in September 2020 to gain an advanced grasp of G-res and to estimate the carbon footprint of several hydropower schemes. The reliability of those estimations will be assessed in the scope of a GHG field measurement project in Portugal.

In 2022, EDP employed the carbon calculator to predict GHG emissions from three different hydropower assets in Portugal: Vilar-Tabuaço, Ribeiradio-Ermida, and Vilarinho das Furnas. G-Res’ estimations played a crucial role in predicting that all three sites’ GHG emissions were below the limit set for the projects, proving insights that hydropower can be a low-emitting source of energy.

The G-res tool, also known as the carbon calculator, was developed with a conceptual framework created with scientists from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), the Norwegian Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF) and the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE), with assistance from the World Bank.

Formed through a multi-stakeholder research project led by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the UNESCO Chair in Global Environmental Change over the course of a decade, the G-res is used by hydropower companies and researchers as a screening tool by rapidly providing estimates of net greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs. It is crucial to support the decision for new projects, but also gives hints about the necessity to undertake field measurements, contributing with scientific and technical evidence about reservoirs’ climate profile and carbon footprint.

The G-res tool’s measurements can also attract investments for projects. For instance, to determine hydropower facilities’ financing eligibility, the Climate Bonds Initiative outlines emission intensity requirements and the tool can help estimate whether projects meet the defined limits.

As highlighted in the 2023 World Hydropower Outlook, the G-res team organises quarterly training sessions to educate individuals of all backgrounds and professions on how to use the tool and accurately interpret results. The team also validates results for reliable and transparent reporting.

Hydropower’s unique qualities such as its flexibility and storage capacity are essential to supporting the clean energy transition and tackling the global challenge of climate change. The G-res tool is accelerating the decarbonisation of industries worldwide by directly providing hydropower companies and researchers with the knowledge to predict emissions.

Pádua commented on the tool and training’s capacity to better understand the results of emission measurements and demystify what sustainable hydropower looks like:

“The G-res tool and training made it possible to clearly communicate and structure the theoretical magnitude of emissions and the most relevant pathways in different hydropower assets. I am certain that the G-res tool will be used in future EDP Labelec projects given its speed and proven track record.”

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