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Blog | What role can hydropower play in new energy markets and growing economies?
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What role can hydropower play in new energy markets and growing economies?

Hydropower projects can bring significant benefits to developing and emerging economies, providing essential services such as electricity generation, freshwater management and climate adaptation. As the recent upsurge in global hydropower development continues, the technology is expected to play a key role in new energy markets across the world.

Conference delegates networkingFor example in Pakistan, hydropower currently provides 32 per cent of the country’s total electricity generation capacity. The remainder is made up substantially by oil and gas, mostly imported. There, the government’s long-term strategy is to maximise hydroelectric generation to bolster domestic energy security while providing a cleaner power mix overall.

The Iranian government has also signalled its intention to move towards a more balanced energy mix; recent reforms have curbed subsidies on domestic petroleum and natural gas. There are now 14 large-scale hydropower projects totalling 5,831 MW seeking investments in the country, including the 1,000 MW Ilam pumped-storage plant, the 712 MW Karun II, and the 584 MW Khersan I.

Meanwhile, in Myanmar, the government is aiming to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. The government finalised its National Electrification Plan in June 2014, emphasising hydropower as a long-term energy solution. In this plan’s scenario, installed hydropower capacity will almost triple to reach 9,000 MW by 2030.

These three countries will come under the spotlight at the Growing Economies Energy Forum, which will be held on 23 June 2016 in London. IHA is a partner for this event, which will host open discussions between government and private sector representatives from Pakistan, Iran and Myanmar, as well as the Pacific Alliance countries: Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

Many of the private sector participants expected to attend specialise in investing and developing power and infrastructure projects in growing economies around the globe. Information will be presented on governments' incentives and strategies to develop their respective power sectors in sessions focused on particular countries.

The Growing Economies Energy Forum will be co-located with the Africa Energy Forum, a global investment meeting which will take place from the 22–24 June 2016. The Africa Energy Forum aims to facilitate a meeting point for European and African developers and investors to build relationships with governments, utilities and regulators from across the African continent.

IHA is a partner for both the Growing Economies Energy Forum and Africa Energy Forum. In addition, a number of IHA members are closely involved in the Africa Energy Forum as sponsors, including EDF, ENGIE, ERM, Manitoba Hydro, and Mott MacDonald.


For more information about the Growing Economies Energy Forum, please visit the event website or contact the organiser by email.

For more information about the Africa Energy Forum, please visit the event website or contact the organiser by email.