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Hydropower and greenhouse gases: building a better understanding

Blog | Video: building a better understanding of greenhouse gases
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Video: building a better understanding of greenhouse gases

The International Hydropower Association is working with UNESCO and IEA-Hydro to build a better understanding of hydropower's greenhouse gas footprint and role in mitigation. In December 2014, a group of scientists gathered in London for a workshop as part of the project – in this video they explain its importance and future plans. You can see the full videos with individual participants below.

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

Dr Atle Harby

Dr Atle Harby is the director of the Centre for Environmental Design of Renewable Energy (CEDREN). Discussing whether reservoirs emit greenhouse gases, he says: "We have seen a couple of cases where we think actually a hydropower reservoir is acting as a greenhouse gas sink, and if we can elaborate more on that and find out the best way of building hydropower then it could really be a contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Dr Li Chong

Dr Li Chong is deputy division chief for science, technology and environment at China Three Gorges Corporation. Discussing the work programme, he says: "China is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters, in the world and hydropower is an important way for China to reduce emissions. Thus, as a major player in hydropower sector, we pay a lot of attention to the greenhouse gases issue and to reducing carbon emissions." 

Tormod Schei

Tormod Schei is vice president and head of climate science at Statkraft. Explaining why this work area is important to the company, he says: "We see it as extremely important that we have a correct picture of tentative greenhouse gas emissions. Only then can we see if something can be done about it, for instance to mitigate it. If you don’t have a correct understanding, let’s say if the assumptions and accusations are based on tabloid type of perceptions, then that will make this extremely difficult."

Dr Chen Shiun

Dr Chen Shiun is general manager for research and development at Sarawak Energy. Discussing the focus of the workshop at IHA central office, he says: "The tool will be able to reveal what kind of characteristics of a particular project will be sustainable. At the same time, it will isolate those projects that will be bad, so that we don’t pursue those projects."

A screening tool is expected to be launched at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress. You can find out more about the session on greenhouse gases at the congress here.