News

16/11/2020
A new charter for sustainable hydropower on IHA’s 25th anniversary
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Sustainability

The International Hydropower Association today celebrates 25 years since its foundation in 1995.

On this historic date, the association’s board is delighted to announce the adoption of a new IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower.

The Charter symbolises the commitment of the association, and its members, to the responsible and sustainable development of hydropower.

The IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower also emphasises hydropower’s important contribution to the clean energy transition, to responsible water management, and to providing solutions to climate change.

Celebrate IHA’s 25 year anniversary:

-      View the IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower

-      Message from Eddie Rich, IHA CEO

-      Why IHA matters: in the words of our members

-      Our story: IHA at 25

-      Timeline: from the World Commission on Dams to the modern day

Defining IHA membership

Signatories to the Charter agree that all hydropower projects should be designed, developed and operated in accordance with good and best practice, as defined by the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

The Charter states: “Sustainably developed and operated hydropower can make a significant contribution to national and international efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 6-9 and 13, as well as global climate change targets”.

Recognising the need for continuous monitoring and learning, the Charter also notes that “industry needs to respect, encourage and continue developing strong sustainability standards.”

“Good or best practices such as those indicated in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools should be followed and encouraged in stakeholder and business relations,” it adds.

A charter of clear principles

Roger Gill, IHA President and Chair of IHA’s Board, speaking on the adoption of the Charter, highlighted the association’s 25-year journey, during which it has promoted the adoption, recognition and exchange of sustainable practices.

“IHA has used its 25 years of experience to set out a Charter with clear principles that will define the way its members contribute to energy development across the world,” he said.

“It is with great thanks that we recognise the contributions of many individuals and organisations that have shaped IHA to be a strong voice for sustainable hydropower.”

The IHA Charter announcement comes after a public consultation was launched for a new Hydropower Sustainability Standard. The new Standard, if adopted, would provide hydropower stakeholders with the means to demonstrate – and certify – their commitment to sustainable hydropower.

“This certification system would publicly recognise and reward projects that meet minimum expectations based on established definitions of good and best practice,” said Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA.

“This would give local, national and international stakeholders the vital reassurance they seek that a hydropower project is independently verified as sustainable. From 2021,there is no excuse for any hydropower development not to meet good sustainability standards.”

Learn more about sustainability

12/11/2020
Consultation on a groundbreaking global sustainability standard for hydropower
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Sustainability

Hydropower projects around the world could soon be independently rated and certified for their sustainability performance, following a public consultation open to all stakeholders.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA), on behalf of a multi-stakeholder coalition of industry, civil society, governments and financial institutions, is publishing today a consultation paper on the development of a global sustainability standard for hydropower.

If adopted, the Hydropower Sustainability Standard would apply a rating, or label, to projects of any size or stage of development. This would incentivise and recognise responsible project developers, and help investors, governments and communities understand which schemes meet international environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance requirements.  

The rating and certification system would build on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, a set of guidelines and assessment tools used by developers, operators and financiers.

“The Hydropower Sustainability Standard would incentivise high-performing hydropower projects while helping to set minimum expectations for the whole sector,” said Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, a non-profit membership association and the custodian of the tools.

“This certification system would publicly recognise and reward projects that meet minimum expectations based on established definitions of good and best practice. This would give local, national and international stakeholders the vital reassurance they seek that a hydropower project is independently verified as sustainable. From 2021, there is no excuse for any hydropower development not to meet good sustainability standards.”

Labelling structure

The proposed Hydropower Sustainability Standard would mean hydropower developers and operators could easily certify their projects against expected industry practices using a simple-to-understand labelling structure.  

The standard could be linked to financial instruments, such as green bonds, and used to demonstrate compliance against criteria used by international lenders such as the World Bank and International Finance Corporation.  

Helen Locher, chair of the working group which proposed the new system, commented: “Energy users have a lot more choice these days, and increasingly, sustainability is an important deciding factor. Certification of hydropower against a credible standard will help inform choices.  

“A standard has been a long-time aspiration for many, and we have the components and the endorsement needed to make this momentous step. If you have an interest in hydropower, please submit your views on how the standard is designed and implemented.”

Debbie Gray, Senior Advisor at Hydro-Quebec, a leading Canadian hydropower utility, commented: “We are confident that the Hydropower Sustainability Standard will be the most comprehensive standard for the certification of hydropower plants. It will give operators an incentive for integrating sustainable practices into their projects and will allow them to achieve credible, third party recognition for the results." 

Standard governance and certification

The Hydropower Sustainability Standard would be governed by the multi-stakeholder Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council.  

The standard could be applied on projects at any stage of project preparation, development and operation. Both new and existing hydropower projects would be eligible to apply for certification.  

The working group that developed the proposal was established under a mandate from the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council’s governance committee. The group includes representatives from governments, environmental and social organisations, financial institutions, hydropower operators, and IHA accredited project assessors.  

Lesha Witmer, Steering Committee member for Women for Water Partnership, commented: “Women for Water Partnership, as a member of the working group and governance committee, believes the standard with its norms and exposure can assist in improving the quality and credibility of sustainable hydropower as a contribution to better livelihoods.  

“We think it could, and would, be a powerful tool to enhance local stakeholder involvement – including women, indigenous peoples, etc – and make it clear what concerns and benefits are taken into account. Transparency and accountability are the main drivers of the standard as now envisioned,” she added.

Public consultation open until 8 February

The public consultation seeks comments from hydropower stakeholders, including operators and developers, governments, financial institutions, NGOs and civil society. Comments on the consultation paper are welcome by 8 February 2021.  

Comments are requested on the aim of the standard, rating system, certification process and other design aspects. After receiving feedback, the working group will finalise the design proposal of the standard and provide recommendations to the council. If accepted, the launch of the standard is expected in the first half of 2021.

Review the consultation paper and provide your comments into the response form.

For more information about the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, please visit HydroSustainability.org.  

Learn more about IHA's Sustainability programme.

3/11/2020
Forum launched to shape the future of pumped storage hydropower
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Pumped Storage

At the inaugural meeting of the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower, keynote speaker and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged governments and industry to move quickly to develop projects at the scale needed to support the rapid roll-out of variable renewables.

“I believe we urgently need to raise awareness of pumped hydro and its vital role in the clean energy transition. This will require the industry to have a higher profile with the goal of engaging governments and heads of government to make it happen," he said.

“We have to get going. [Wind and solar power] can be built in months, but pumped hydro takes several years. Pumped hydro can provide short term storage and load following, as can batteries. But its real comparative advantage is that with sufficient scale in water and elevation it can provide days or even weeks of energy storage,” added Mr Turnbull at the virtual forum on 3 November 2020.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the U.S. Department of Energy are leading the forum, which brings together 11 national governments and more than 70 organisations from the hydropower industry, financial institutions, academia and NGOs to share their experiences, build best practice and develop policy proposals that can help accelerate pumped storage development. The meeting was attended by 200 high-level participants from 40 countries.

International collaboration

In his opening address, Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said: “We still need to have an electric grid which is incredibly reliable and pumped storage hydropower contributes greatly to this.

“We recognise with hydropower and with PSH that there needs to be international collaboration… because the challenges are very similar. For example, we want to recognise the XFLEX HYDRO project where more than a dozen partners have come together to demonstrate new hydropower technologies at locations across Europe.”

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 14,000 GW of additional variable wind and solar capacity is needed by 2050 to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement, and substantial levels of new investment in long-duration, low-carbon energy storage will be required to meet expected demand.

Pumped storage hydropower, also known as ‘the world’s water battery’ is a flexible, clean, dispatchable source of electricity. It is needed to facilitate increasing quantities of variable renewables, which require a back-up to ensure the stability of power systems.

IRENA has stated that global pumped storage hydropower capacity will need to double from nearly 160 GW today to 325 GW over the next 30 years, to limit the rise in global temperatures to below 2 degree Celsius.

Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) development however remains stagnant in many markets. Outside China, the world’s largest pumped storage producer, year-on-year installed capacity growth has been just 1.5 per cent since 2014.

Although several pumped storage facilities are under development across the United States, India and Australia, global growth has been constrained due to a combination of factors. These include a lack of awareness about the technology’s capabilities, complex permitting arrangements and outdated market and regulatory frameworks which fail to provide appropriate incentives for development.

Balancing power

During the forum, speakers emphasised the need to raise awareness about the benefits of sustainable pumped storage with policy and financial decision-makers globally, and to move quickly to progress new developments, to meet the requirements of the rapidly changing energy mix.

The World Bank’s Dr Demetrios Papathanasiou, Global Director of Energy and Extractives said: “Pumped storage hydropower is the only renewable option that can currently produce commercially viable balancing power to integrate variable renewable technologies at-scale.

“The potential for pumped storage appears to be enormous. We have plenty of sites in Africa, Asia, and Latin America…the challenge is in identifying the right sites, connecting them with the grid and using them as best we can in planning for the clean energy transition.”

Mr Benoit Revaz, State Secretary and Director, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, said: “We consider the forum timely and opportune because hydropower and PSH in particular are often not given the attention they deserve. Hydropower has been the backbone of Switzerland’s electricity system for more than a century.  

“A recent EU study shows that PSH is by far the main energy storage reservoir in Europe. However, the future looks uncertain and the study recognises that PSH faces regulatory and market barriers. We see a key role for this forum as raising awareness with policymakers about the benefits of hydropower and PSH.”

Working groups

Mr Srikant Nagulapalli, Chairman, New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd commented: “We intend to transition from the conventional grid to a green grid over the next ten to 15 years… we will be forced to rely on some balancing source for absorbing this wind and solar. So, our plan is to establish at least 6,000 to 7,000 MW of pumped hydro projects in the State over the next ten years.”

To unlock further PSH development, the Forum’s Steering Committee has identified the need for three working groups: ‘Policy and Market Frameworks, ‘Sustainability’, and ‘Capabilities, costs and innovation’. These working groups will bring together expertise from around the world to work on and help address these common challenges over the next 12 months.

Speaking on the Policy and Market Frameworks, Mr JC Sandberg, Managing Director of Global Government Affairs and Policy, GE Renewable Energy, said: “As the need for storage and grid support increases, pumped storage is the best large-scale energy storage solution”

“There are roles for both batteries and pumped storage and there will be for the foreseeable future.  

“We can make some recommendations on policy and markets to allow governments to put in place the right legal and business conditions to ensure transparency and visibility.”

Large scale power storage solution

The Sustainability working group will focus on environmental impacts/benefits of PSH development, testing PSH projects against existing sustainability tools like HESG Gap Analysis Tool, and assessing the territorial value creation of PSH assets for local communities.  

Commenting on this, Mr Antoine Malafosse, International Project Manager, EDF Hydro, said: “We need PSH for a sustainable economy… when it comes to a  sustainable socio-environmental impact, we have to demonstrate that PSH has a limited impact and that when it is negative, we have capacity to manage this impact using mitigation, minimisation or compensation.”

Mr Klaus Krüger, Senior Expert Plant Safety & Energy Storage Solutions, Voith Hydro, reinforced the importance of pumped storage as an established technology when speaking on the Capabilities, Costs & Innovation working group: “PSH is the only proven large scale power storage solution for 112 years.”

He described the key aims for this group as: improving understanding of PSH and its role in providing storage and flexibility services, to address the needs of future electricity systems; assessing how it compares with other energy storage technologies; raising awareness with policy makers, the media and other audiences; and highlighting the latest technological innovations in PSH.

Mr Richard Taylor, Strategic Adviser, XFLEX HYDRO, stated that one of the biggest opportunities for the Forum is to enable a better understanding of storage within the hydro sector and broader policy audiences, as well as those responsible for designing the markets that will determine future energy investment.  

“We need to raise awareness about the options when designing pumped storage projects. The XFLEX HYDRO initiative is demonstrating new technologies in terms of digitalisation, variable speed and fixed speed, at seven sites across Europe.”

Find out more by reading the press release.

Register your interest at hydropower.org/pumpedstorageforum

2/11/2020
Global forum to tap hydropower’s potential as a clean, green battery
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Pumped Storage

IHA and the U.S. Department of Energy will this week launch a global initiative of 11 governments and more than 60 organisations aimed at addressing the urgent need for clean and reliable energy storage.

The International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower will develop policy proposals and exchange knowledge on the technical and market reforms necessary to overcome barriers to sustainable pumped storage hydropower projects, known as the ‘world’s water batteries’.

The initiative, to be launched on 3 November 2020, will bring together the governments of the USA, Austria, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Morocco, Norway and Switzerland, as well as international financial institutions, non-profit organisations and leading energy companies such as EDF, GE Renewable Energy, Voith and Hydro Tasmania.

Former Prime Minister of Australia, Malcom Turnbull, a leading advocate for pumped storage hydropower at home and abroad, will give a keynote address at the inaugural virtual forum to more than 100 high-level representatives of the partner organisations.

Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, commented: “With this initiative we have an opportunity to help ensure that pumped storage hydropower will play an important role in our power systems today and into the future.

“Several developers have plans to build new pumped storage hydropower plants in the United States, and we hope the work of this forum will help them get those plants built, to help make the grid of the future more reliable and robust.”

Eddie Rich, CEO of IHA, commented: “The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has stated that pumped storage hydropower, which provides most of the world’s energy storage capacity, needs to nearly double by 2050 to meet ambitious global climate targets. The good news is that there is massive potential, including over 600,000 potential off-river sites that have recently been identified, plus opportunities for modernising existing plants.

“Over the next year, the forum’s partners are expected to exchange good practices and agree proposals to clear the way for an upsurge in pumped storage developments while also looking at ways to improve the sustainability and efficiency of existing facilities.”

Benefits of pumped storage

Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) is an ideal complement to modern clean energy systems as it can accommodate for the variability and seasonality of fast-growing solar and wind power. It enjoys several distinct advantages over other forms of energy storage due to its long asset life, large storage capacity, low-lifetime cost and reduced dependence on imported raw materials.

Pumped storage hydropower is the world's largest energy storage technology, accounting for over 94 per cent of installed energy storage capacity. IHA estimates that PSH projects now store at least 9,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity globally.

As the International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated, pumped storage hydropower is the ‘often-overlooked workhorse’ of system flexibility. To cope with growing demands placed on power grids created by the transition away from fossil fuels and the rapid rise in variable renewables, significant investments are needed, from both the public and private sectors, in the long-duration, low-carbon storage that PSH provides.  

Similarly, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates under its ‘Transforming Energy Scenario’ – setting out what is needed to hold the rise in global temperatures to well below 2 degree Celsius (°C) – that global pumped storage hydropower capacity will need to double from nearly 160 GW today to 325 GW over the next 30 years.

Despite being an ideal source of clean energy storage to integrate wind and solar power, worldwide growth in pumped storage hydropower remains slow having been stymied by a lack of policy and financial incentives for new developments.

About the forum

The International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower (IFPSH) is an unprecedented cross-sectoral initiative bringing together governments, developers, equipment manufacturers, research institutes, system operators, environmental NGOs, multilateral development banks and the finance community.

The forum is convened by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and chaired by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with the governments of Austria, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Morocco, Norway and Switzerland participating. The forum is expected to report back over the next 12 months with a programme of initiatives and policy proposals.

Multilateral development banks such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as well as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), are participating in the forum.

Leading private sector, research and financial organisations who have joined as founding partners include EDF, GE Renewable Energy, Voith, Hydro Tasmania, Mott MacDonald, Australian National University,  IHE Delft, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, the Energy and Resources Institute of India and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Find the forum at: www.hydropower.org/pumpedstorageforum and on social media #pumpedstorageforum

Steering Committee Members & Observers

Our partners

29/10/2020
IHA publishes guide on responsible resettlement
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Sustainability, Resettlement

Resettlement in hydropower needs to be handled with care and commitment, respecting the dignity and human rights of those affected.

Good practice requires a participatory process based on fairness and equity, with the aim of achieving a sustainable improvement in the lives of resettlees.

A new how-to guide published by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will now support project developers to identify, manage and avoid risks associated with delivering a resettlement programme.

The How-to Guide on Hydropower Resettlement will help companies design and implement resettlement schemes based on international good practice as defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

Mapping out key steps

The guide clearly maps out the key steps for resettlement at each stage of the project development cycle. It explores the main themes and concerns related to resettlement caused by hydropower development and provides insights for the parties responsible.

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, commented: “Resettlement is one of the most contentious issues in all infrastructure developments, but there are solutions available that put resettlees at the heart of the process.

“This guide offers a clear and transparent approach to resettlement planning and implementation. By following the measures and strategies presented, hydropower developers can provide clean and reliable energy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Helen Locher, an independent consultant and accredited assessor and the author of the guide, added: "Resettlement involves so much more than building replacement housing and moving people. This guide highlights the many dimensions and complexities involved, and should help inform decision-making, planning and management regarding resettlement in hydropower projects."

The success of any new hydropower project is inextricably linked with the success of any resettlement programme. By meeting good practice for resettlement, hydropower developers will be taking a significant step to ensure the sustainability of their project.

Download the How-to Guide on Hydropower Resettlement

20/10/2020
Sector stakeholders help shape hydro's role in the clean energy transition
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Europe

Over 160 hydropower industry, civil society and policy representatives met to address the challenges and role for hydropower in the clean energy transition, at a HYDROPOWER EUROPE online event last week.

The #HPEOnlineWorkshop was part of the HYDROPOWER EUROPE consultation process on a Research and Innovation Agenda (RIA) and Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR). Stakeholders were able to debate and share their views on policy and regulations, technical challenges, and environmental and social issues affecting the future of hydropower in Europe.

As a partner in the project, IHA participated alongside other leading international and European organisations. IHA Senior Analyst David Samuel commented; “the workshop was a chance to hear from a range of stakeholders and discuss the opportunities as well as challenges facing hydropower in Europe”.

At the beginning of day one, representatives from the European Commission’s Directorate-General Energy and Directorate-General Environment introduced policy and regulatory issues as the EU works towards decarbonisation. A key point raised was the need for integrated energy and environmental policies, to ensure supportive planning frameworks for hydropower development. Next, technical challenges and research and innovation (R&I) priorities were presented including innovative concepts and technologies to boost hydropower’s potential. Collaboration among hydropower stakeholders and the public will be increasingly important for the sector.

The introduction was followed by four separate parallel group discussions.  In the first group, experts shared their views on market structure and regulatory mechanisms to support hydro in Europe. The second focused on improving the European funding offer for hydropower R&I, and the third group explored the question of hydropower as a flexibility provider for the future European energy system. Attendees in the last group discussed the performance and resilience of existing infrastructure.

Day two kicked-off with civil society organisations such as WWF and the Global Water Programme (IUCN) addressing the impacts of hydropower on the environment. Best practices and solutions to make hydro more environmentally friendly were presented, with examples highlighting small-scale hydropower applications in the Netherlands, run-of-river projects using eco-friendly solutions, and effective system-scale planning for renewables development. Throughout the workshop, the importance of industry and civil society working together was emphasised as essential to ensuring public support.

Again, the second day ended with four parallel group discussions. Best practices and solutions to increase public acceptance of hydropower were discussed in the first group. The second addressed environmental solutions and benefits of hydropower projects. Finally the third and fourth groups focused on the environmental impacts on river flows and on biodiversity, respectively.

On behalf of HYDROPOWER EUROPE, IHA’s David Samuel moderated the group discussion on river flow impacts, for which technical support was provided by Egle Kareckaite of the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE). IHA Senior Analyst Cristina Diez Santos gave an introductory presentation on river flow impacts, with conversions then centering on sediment management. Dams and hydropower structures can affect the natural flows of sediment along a river, and so managing the issue is critical both for river health and efficient hydro operations. The group discussed case studies in Poland, Switzerland, and Italy, and concluded that site owners and policy-makers need to be aware of the risks and understand the range of solutions available.The recordings and the presentations from the main sessions are accessible once registered for the wider stakeholder consultation at this link.

Online consultation open until 31 October

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE Forum has been working on a consultation process through regional and technical workshops as well as online consultations. Feedback from diverse groups of stakeholders including hydropower experts, industry, civil society, environmental organisations and other interested parties is being collected, to help shape R&I priorities for the sector.

The outcomes of the workshop will help finalise recommendations for the future direction and role of hydropower in Europe. There is still time to provide feedback by participating in the 2nd Stakeholder Online Consultation. The consultation process will close at the end of October 2020.

15/10/2020
Landmark agreement between US hydropower and conservation groups
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‘This demonstrates a strong commitment by the hydropower industry and environmental NGOs to work together’ – Eddie Rich

The International Hydropower Association welcomes a “landmark” collaboration agreement between environmental groups and the U.S. hydropower sector, which recognises the need to tackle climate change with renewable energy while also preserving healthy rivers.

The joint statement was issued on 13 October by twelve organisations including the US National Hydropower Association, the Hydropower Foundation, American Rivers and WWF, among other groups.

The agreement outlines how the benefits of hydropower, including its energy storage potential, should be harnessed while protecting the ecology and environment of American water systems. This will involve accelerating the development of hydropower technologies and the rehabilitation, retrofitting and removal of older dams, among other actions.

“The parties agree that maximising hydropower’s climate and other benefits, while also mitigating the environmental impact of dams and supporting environmental restoration, will be advanced through a collaborative effort,” the statement says.

The agreement was brokered following a two-and-a-half year dialogue co-convened by Stanford University and the Energy Futures Initiative. It recognises that, of the 90,000 dams that exist in the U.S. dams, less than 2,500 are fitted with hydropower.

In a blog on NHA’s website, NHA President and CEO Malcolm Woolf commented: “Our nation’s electricity grid already benefits from over 100 GW of flexible, carbon-free hydropower and pumped storage capacity and has the potential to add more without new impoundments. I believe there is common ground to be found that will allow us to bolster the health and vitality of our nation’s rivers while also maximising the nation’s hydropower resources to address climate change. And with this agreement in hand, we can start down that path together.”

Responding to the statement, IHA CEO Eddie Rich said: “We welcome this landmark agreement between the hydropower community and conservation groups in the USA. Decisions around all technologies have to balance a mixture of local, regional and global impacts. It is heartening to see a maturing debate on the trade-offs of hydropower development. This demonstrates a strong commitment by the hydropower industry and environmental NGOs to work together to promote renewable energy and address climate change while preserving the health of precious rivers.

“Renewable hydropower is going to be essential for the clean energy transition. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that it is developed sustainably including by fitting hydropower capacity on to existing dams, modernising others and removing those that serve no purpose. This statement is a call to action for the environmental and hydropower communities around the world to work together on the biggest challenge that faces the 21 century.”

Read the joint statement.

14/10/2020
IHA launches training academy for sustainable hydropower
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Sustainability

A new training academy for hydropower specialists launched by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will expand and improve knowledge in hydropower sustainability.

The Hydropower Sustainability Training Academy builds on IHA’s 25 years of experience in developing guidance on hydropower development, as well as its expertise in delivering training and capacity building. The courses are based on the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

IHA’s Chief Executive Eddie Rich says the Academy marks a major step in widening access to knowledge about responsible hydropower development. “IHA’s mission is to advance sustainable hydropower. This new suite of courses aims to grow professional expertise across a range of sustainability performance areas. Restrictions on travel and social distancing measures as a result of the global pandemic have accelerated IHA’s plans to provide these courses virtually,” he added.

Comprehensive and practical courses

The Hydropower Sustainability Training Academy currently offers three professional training courses. Two of these courses are designed to help participants develop the skills and knowledge to become either a certified user or accredited assessor of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

The third course caters to practitioners who want to know how to accurately estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from hydropower projects using the G-res Tool. The courses will soon be available in a variety of languages with plans to expand the courses on offer in 2021.

Widely endorsed by industry, governments, financial institutions, and social and environmental non-profit organisations, The Hydropower Sustainability Tools are also aligned with World Bank and IFC standards. They are used by developers and operators around the world to design, build and assess hydropower projects of all types and sizes.

The training courses are targeted at professionals working with both the public and private sectors, including but not limited to programme managers, operations, energy, environmental, social, legal and dam specialists, and compliance officers.

IHA’s Head of Sustainability Joao Costa said: “IHA’s training courses aim to equip participants with essential knowledge about good and best practices on sustainable hydropower. Providing insights on matters such as biodiversity, climate resilience, financial viability or resettlement, the trainers will cover all aspects that need to be managed in hydropower projects.

“Participants will become familiar with the sustainability assessment process, and will be able to recognise how and when to apply the Hydropower Sustainability Tools to elevate the way hydropower projects are developed.”

Training track record

IHA has a strong track record in providing in-person and online training to industry, multilateral institutions and governments. In the past year, IHA has provided virtual training to 140 employees of the World Bank, IFC and the Indonesian government as well as private sector stakeholders.

Pravin Karki, the World Bank Group’s Global Lead Hydropower and Dams commented that “IHA's Certified User Training and G-res Tool Training have been extremely valuable to World Bank staff, ensuring we are up to speed on good and best practice in sustainable hydropower. The online format is effective and professional and we encourage policy and practice specialists in the sector to take advantage of these courses.”

Training courses format

IHA provides the option of either in-person or online training (in-person training is currently on hold due to the global pandemic). The online platform launched today provides a blend of live and self-paced learning. Participants in the online courses take part in virtual classrooms where trainers deliver live stream lessons, lead group activities and host interactive Q&A sessions. To complement the live sessions, participants work on self-paced activities, including reading, pre-recorded screencasts and individual assignments.

Upcoming online training courses in November and December

Certified User Training: a three-week Certified User Training online course will start on Tuesday 10 November 2020 (participants are required to attend live streaming sessions on 10, 17 and 24 November). This course will provide participants with the skills and competences to support and manage an assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) or the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG). Find out more

G-res Tool training: a one-week G-res Tool Training online course will start on Monday 7 December 2020 (participants are required to attend live streaming sessions on 7, 9 and 11 December). This course will provide participants with the basic knowledge of geographic information systems and reservoir GHG dynamics to assess the GHG emissions of hydropower projects. Find out more

For more information about the upcoming courses visit training.hydrosustainability.org. Register your interest here.

IHA is continously working with leading experts to create more courses, including specific topics from the Hydropower Sustainability Tools. Please sign up to the IHA newsletter by emailing communications@hydropower.org to stay updated.

Visit the training site

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13/10/2020
IHA responds to 2020 World Energy Outlook report
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The International Energy Agency’s 2020 World Energy Outlook recognises the critical role of renewable and flexible hydropower in helping countries to meet their climate and sustainable development goals.

The report, published today, explores pathways out of the Covid-19 crisis, which the IEA says has “caused more disruption to the energy sector than any other event in recent history”.

Responding to the report, IHA Head of Policy Alex Campbell commented: “Under all scenarios in this flagship report, hydropower will continue to have an important role as a major source of low-carbon electricity as well as vital flexibility and storage services.

“As the IEA notes, flexibility is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of electricity security. As conventional gas and coal fired power stations are phased out, hydropower’s system services will become even more important to the clean energy transition.

Mr Campbell added: “It is vital that appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks are in place to properly value the essential services that sustainable hydropower provides in respect of energy storage, grid stability and other critical areas.

“IHA urges governments and regulators across the world to start planning now for the flexible grids of the future that will support the integration of variable renewables with reliable and flexible solutions like hydropower.”

By 2030, the hydropower sector is expected to generate more electricity than coal under the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, involving a surge in clean energy policies and investment. By 2040, nearly 850 GW of additional hydropower capacity will have been commissioned, mostly in the Asia Pacific region.

Even under the less optimistic Stated Policies Scenario, hydropower is still expected to see modest growth and will remain the largest low emissions source of electricity globally through to 2030.

Changes in the shape and variability of electricity demand and the strong growth of solar PV and wind power are increasing flexibility needs in power systems, the Paris-based agency says.

“As flexibility needs increase, hydropower will have greater value to systems for its ability to provide a wide set of system services across a wide range of time scales from improving power quality on a moment-to-moment basis to balancing seasonal variability,” the report notes.

Over the next decade, the IEA says investment in low emissions power technologies could average more than $650 billion every year, over 90 per cent of which could go to renewable energy technologies.

Learn more about IHA’s programmes on clean energy systems and pumped storage hydropower including the EU-funded XFLEX HYDRO initiative which is demonstrating new hydropower flexibility technologies.

30/9/2020
Renewable jobs report shows hydropower's global significance
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Europe
Climate change

30 September 2020

Hydropower is the third largest renewables employer, with almost two million people working in the industry, according to the latest jobs report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

A record 11.5 million people were employed by all renewable industries in 2019, of which 1.93 million people were directly employed in hydropower. China, Brazil, the United States and Canada were the top hydropower employers followed by Pakistan, Vietnam, Russia and Myanmar.    

Despite its status as the world’s largest source of renewable energy and its “huge untapped potential”, IRENA says hydropower employment in 2019 was around six per cent lower than in 2018, as growth slowed and new projects were delayed in several countries.

As a consequence of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, IRENA projects the employment figure to fall further during 2020 given further delays in construction during national lockdowns.

In response, Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) said: “This report underlines hydropower’s global significance as a major renewable sector employer as well as the urgent need to invest in new and sustainable hydropower projects.”

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, IHA has highlighted the centrality of sustainable hydropower as part of the green recovery.

“IRENA estimates an additional 850 GW of newly installed hydropower capacity is needed by 2050 to help achieve the carbon reduction commitments of the Paris Agreement. This could generate an additional 600,000 skilled jobs over the next decade.

"To achieve this will require concerted action including improved financial incentives and compensation for the flexibility and resilience services provided by hydropower. The green economic stimulus packages begin announced around the world give us the opportunity to make this goal a reality.”

The jobs report comes days after the second meeting of IRENA’s Collaborative Framework on Hydropower, a forum initiated by the Swiss government and supported by 49 countries on 24 September 2020.

At the meeting, Mr Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General, cited hydropower’s role as a source of power system resilience. “As an enabler for integrating higher shares of renewable energy into power systems, hydropower is set to play an important role in the energy transition and will be critical to the decarbonisation of economies.”

“Promoting the continued deployment of hydropower has been, and remains, an important part of IRENA’s work,” La Camera said.

According to IRENA, hydropower is the cheapest renewable on a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) basis.

Learn more about hydropower and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.  

   

Related news:

28/9/2020
IRENA hydropower initiative takes shape with meeting of 49 nations
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Forty-nine countries are participating in a new initiative by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to promote coordinated action, cooperation and dialogue on hydropower’s role in the clean energy transition.

More than 100 attendees from IRENA’s member countries, applicant countries and observer organisations took part in the second meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower, a forum initiated by the Swiss government, on 24 September 2020.

IRENA, which considers hydropower essential to driving the clean energy transition, established the initiative in June in response to member country requests to expand its support to the deployment of hydropower technologies.

Mr Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA cited hydropower’s role as a source of power system resilience and as a way to expand the adoption of variable renewables, in his remarks to the meeting.

“As an enabler for integrating higher shares of renewable energy into power systems, hydropower is set to play an important role in the energy transition and will be critical to the decarbonisation of economies. Promoting the continued deployment of hydropower has been, and remains, an important part of IRENA’s work,” Mr La Camera said.

The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Jean-Christophe Füeg, Head of International Energy Affairs of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. IHA and the World Bank were invited to share their views on the priorities for hydropower and how to bring public, private, intergovernmental and non-governmental actors together to exchange knowledge and identify opportunities and challenges for the sector.

Addressing the meeting on behalf of IHA’s members, who at 450 GW represent almost a third of worldwide hydropower capacity, Chief Executive Eddie Rich said: “Energy transition targets require annual investments in sustainable hydropower to increase 150 per cent by 2030 - more even than wind and solar.”

“Governments must redouble their efforts to implement sensible measures to help unlock billions of dollars of investment in sustainable hydropower development.”

During its kick-off meeting in June, member countries agreed on the scope of the Collaborative Framework, including the need to ensure the continued and sustainable development of hydropower. The meeting recognised hydropower’s relevance as a provider of flexibility and an enabler for the integration of high shares of variable renewables

In a statement on their website, IRENA noted the September virtual meeting witnessed a “high level of engagement” and that member countries have now agreed on future meetings, enabling the Collaborative Framework on hydropower to take further shape.

Founded in 2009 as an intergovernmental organisation headquartered in Abu Dhabi, IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. It encourages governments to adopt enabling policies for renewable energy investments, provides practical tools and policy advice to accelerate renewable energy deployment, and facilitates knowledge sharing and technology transfer to provide clean, sustainable energy for the world’s growing population.

IHA continues to actively advocate for sustainable hydropower in IRENA as well as other international platforms and initiatives.

24/9/2020
2021 World Hydropower Congress
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New September 2021 date announced

One year from now, in September 2021, we will bring together the world’s leading hydropower change-makers to decide priorities for the sector.

The World Hydropower Congress is the leading international forum for innovators, experts and policy-makers to shape better energy strategies, influence smarter investment decisions and deliver international good practice.  

In 2021, the Congress will be a hybrid event hosted throughout the month, under the theme ‘Renewables working together’.

For the first time in the event’s history, delegates from around the world will participate in online sessions across multiple timezones, culminating in an in-person summit in Costa Rica on 23-24 September.

With a focus on green stimulus packages, the 2021 Congress presents an unprecedented opportunity to discuss how sustainable hydropower can contribute to building back better to deliver on energy, water and climate targets.

The event will bring together senior representatives from governments, international organisations, financial institutions, research, non-governmental organisations and business to accelerate the pathway to a zero-carbon future.

The 2021 World Hydropower Congress is organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and hosted by Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s electricity services provider, and the Government of Costa Rica.  

Join us for high-level plenary sessions, focus sessions and workshops on:

  • Advancing clean energy
  • Tackling climate change  
  • Achieving sustainability
  • Incentivising investments  
  • Integrating smarter tech
  • Managing water

Register your interest in attending or partnering.  

   

31/8/2020
Study identifies need for investment in Asian hydropower modernisation
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Hydropower stations constructed decades ago across Asia are in need of significant investment and upgrades to enhance their critical contribution to the region’s clean energy goals, according to new research.

A study conducted by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) identified 66 hydropower stations across 19 countries that could be ripe for modernisation, at an estimated investment value of up to US$13.7bn.

   

The study was carried out to provide a better understanding of the scale of modernisation needs available across the region. Potential projects range from rehabilitating existing infrastructure to improve efficiency, climate resilience and safety, to expanding a station’s capacity to meet increasing electricity demand and support the integration of variable renewables.

Asia is home to around half the world’s installed hydropower capacity, at almost 650 GW. Hydropower is therefore a major contributor to the region’s electricity mix, accounting for around 14 per cent of total annual electricity generation. Countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal and Tajikistan rely on hydropower for over half of annual generation.

IHA has estimated that more than a third of the continent’s capacity will require, or have undergone, modernisation by 2030. Excluding China, which has a larger proportion of newer hydropower plants, this figure rises to around half of existing capacity.

The new research from AIIB and IHA, conducted over an eight-month period, found the countries with most hydropower capacity in need of modernisation and further investigation are India and Turkey.  

   

The main drivers behind the need for hydropower modernisation range from upgrading ageing equipment, to improving energy performance, reducing environmental impacts, and complementing renewables like solar and wind.

Nicholas Troja, IHA Senior Analyst, commented: “Over the coming decade, the region's need for reliable and sustainable energy will grow immensely. If properly managed and invested in strategically, hydropower’s existing capacity will form the backbone of this energy transition and be essential in meeting the objectives set out in both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“IHA is pleased to have collaborated with AIIB on this important study and we look forward to future joint initiatives to further support modernisation across the hydropower sector in Asia,” he added.

Modernisation options include retrofitting ageing turbines and other equipment with state-of-the-art technology, and digitalising operations with installing new smart controls, intelligent condition monitoring and remotely operated systems. Other options include adding floating solar photovoltaics (PV) to an existing reservoir or developing solar-hydro hybrids that save on land and grid connection costs.

The decision to upgrade a plant will often be influenced by a range of factors, including electricity prices and market design, as the study explains. It stresses the need for governments to develop enabling policies to encourage investment, otherwise they risk having to decommission ageing hydropower stations and losing reliable, renewable generation capacity.

The study was completed in March 2020 and also involved a high-level cost benchmarking exercise to help inform understanding of investment cost ranges for modernisation. The AIIB working paper published this week presents a condensed version of IHA’s final report. This working paper was authored by David Morgado from AIIB and Nicholas Troja, Amina Kadyrzhanova and David Samuel from IHA.

The 19 countries covered are Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Learn more about IHA's work on improving hydropower asset management and modernisation including a study in Latin America with the Inter-American Development Bank.

Read the AIIB-IHA working paper. Read the AIIB blog on The Growing Need for Hydropower Modernisation in Asia.

Contact Nicholas Troja at nicholas.troja@hydropower.org for more information.

25/8/2020
Gabon's Dibwangui project achieves global good practice in ESG assessment
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Sustainability

The Dibwangui hydropower project in Gabon has been rated as an example of international good practice in sustainability design and planning, following an independent assessment.

Plans for the 15 megawatt plant in the central African country achieved globally recognised good practice across 11 environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance criteria examined in the study.

   

Figure: Aerial plan of proposed Dibwangui project from the assessment report  

When completed, the hydroelectric plant in Ngounié province will power the country’s south-west region and support local rural communities currently without electricity. The Dibwangui project is being developed by Louetsi Hydro, a special purpose vehicle of Eranove Group and the Gabonese Strategic Investment Fund (FGIS).

The assessment was undertaken using the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool, an innovative new tool which identifies and addresses any gaps against good practice. Assessment criteria include environmental and social management, community impacts, biodiversity, climate change, labour conditions, and communications and consultation.

This is the first time a project in Africa has published an assessment using the tool, which was developed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a group of civil society, governments, industry and financial institutions, together with the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

   

Alain Kilajian, Sustainability Specialist at IHA, said: “Hydropower projects help countries to increase access to electricity while delivering on social and economic development priorities. With this new assessment tool, it is now possible to determine whether these projects are being planned and built responsibly and sustainably in accordance with international standards. Eranove Group deserve credit for commissioning this independent, rigorous and transparent report.”

Responding to the assessment, Eranove Group CEO Marc Albérola said: “The results of this evaluation confirm Eranove Group's commitment to the sustainable operation of its hydropower facilities. Hydropower is an energy source which meets the dual imperative of being competitive and low carbon. This study confirms the Dibwangui project’s compliance with good environmental and social practices that we have delivered together with the Gabonese Strategic Investment Fund. I thank FGIS for its trust.”

Gabonese Minister of Water, Forests, the Sea and the Environment, Professor Lee White, stated: "We are proud that a Gabonese hydroelectric project is the first in French-speaking Africa to be audited using the ESG tool. I salute the commitment of the FGIS-Eranove Group, which is taking a further step towards sustainable hydroelectricity in Gabon and Africa.”

Alain Claude Bilie-By-Nzé, Gabon's Minister of State for Energy and Water Resources, added: “As part of the Paris Climate Agreement, Gabon has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2025 by initiating an energy transition focused mainly on hydropower. The Dibwangui power plant is one of these projects. It will make it possible to sustainably meet the energy needs of isolated communities while contributing to the development of the economic fabric of Ngounié and the well-being of the local population.”

   

In the study, independent assessor Margaret Trias determined the project team had carefully engaged nearby communities during planning and development and the consultation process was open and transparent. “What the project has done really well is to establish an excellent relationship with nearby communities throughout its pre-feasibility and feasibility stages,” she said.

“The project includes restoring an existing electrical distribution line that has not been in service for many years and which was high on the communities’ list of priorities. As they have no access to electricity, this was something the project had not initially envisaged but that eventually became one of its benefits. When speaking to the community members you had a sense of their pride in showing you around and explaining what the project would look like,” she added.

The assessment between September and October 2019 involved reviewing project plans and interviewing the developer, local community members, national and local government authorities and The Nature Conservancy NGO.

The report is publicly available (in French) on the HydroSustainability.org website.

Learn more about sustainability in hydropower: www.hydrosustainability.org

To enquire about the assessment process, please contact sustainability@hydropower.org

Hydropower Sustainability Tools

The Hydropower Sustainability Tools were developed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a governing council representing industry, government, financial institutions and social and environmental NGOs. The tools are published by IHA as the council’s secretariat.

The tools comprise:

17/8/2020
IHA’s new Head of Policy Alex Campbell starts
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IHA is delighted to welcome new Head of Policy Alex Campbell. Alex has extensive experience in energy policy.

He was previously head of contracts for Difference Policy, the UK Government's flagship renewable electricity deployment scheme.

Other experience includes roles leading the UK's engagement with multi-national civil nuclear bodies, designing the regulatory framework for smart meters in Britain and supporting the development of onshore wind. He holds an MSc in Climate Change and an MA in International Political Economy.

   

Mr Campbell said: "Sustainable hydropower has a key role to play in tackling dangerous climate change and supporting the economic development of communities across the globe. I'm very excited to be joining IHA at such an important and challenging time."

IHA CEO Eddie Rich added: “Alex’s wealth of experience, enterprise and commitment will strengthen IHA’s ability to advance sustainable hydropower to help tackle climate change – the biggest challenge of our generation. He brings credibility, contacts and knowledge. We are delighted to have him join the team.”

5/8/2020
Hydropower Europe’s second stakeholder consultation now open
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Hydropower Europe has launched its second online consultation on priorities for proposed research and innovation actions.

   

The Hydropower Europe (HPE) forum is built on the ambition to achieve a Research & Innovation Agenda (RIA) and Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR) for the sector in Europe.

The focus of the second online consultation is to gather feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on the proposed actions listed within these two documents. This is one of the last opportunities for stakeholders to influence research and innovation priorities for the future of hydropower in Europe; and how hydropower can contribute to a successful clean energy transition.

The consultation consists of a 20-minute online survey. To participate, please click on the link below and register on the HPE Consultation Platform.

https://consultation.hydropower-europe.eu/hydropower-europe-consultation-programme/2nd-wider-stakeholder-consultation/consultation/

The survey will close at the end of October 2020.

The Hydropower Europe consortium comprises 8 partners: ICOLD: International Commission on Large Dams (coordinator); EASE: European Association for Storage of Energy; EREF: European Renewable Energies Federation; EUREC: Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres;  IHA: International Hydropower Association; SAMUI: Samui France sarl; VGB: VGB PowerTech e.V.; and Zabala Innovation Consulting (Zabala Brussels).

28/7/2020
Conserving Tasmania's short-finned eel with a dam bypass
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Sustainability

IHA member Hydro Tasmania is working to protect the short-finned eel by installing an eel bypass in its Trevallyn Dam, on the South Esk River in Tasmania.  

   

The bypass will allow the downstream migration of this remarkable migratory species that travels from the Tamar Estuary to spawn in the Coral Sea near New Caledonia.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy announced the initiative on World Nature Conservation Day, 28 July 2020.

“Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s largest water manager and Tasmanians expect us to look after the waterways under our care, and that includes protecting the species we’re sharing these areas with,” Mr Davy said.

“Though not endangered in Australia, similar species of eels are listed as threatened in the Northern Hemisphere, so the responsibility is on water managers like Hydro Tasmania to take action.”

Watch the video

Read more on HydroTasmania's website.

27/7/2020
World Bank building back better and greener with IHA training
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IHA delivers first online training course for World Bank Group staff

The World Bank is a major force in the development of renewable hydropower plants around the globe, providing expert advice, technical assistance and financing to governments in developing countries.

Together with its sister organisation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the bank has supported a technology which is delivering green and affordable electricity for millions of people, helping to lift living standards and reduce global carbon emissions.

   

Pictured: Online IHA training with World Bank staff

In these times, amid the economic damage being reaped by the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has responded by emphasising the need for countries to ‘build back better and greener’ with sustainable hydropower.

This was the theme of a virtual conference it hosted last month, at which Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure, underlined the potential for hydropower to help governments achieve their carbon reduction targets, as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We know it's possible,” he said. “We can do it by using the huge potential we have with hydropower.”

“But hydropower projects are complex,” he noted. “We want to do them well, taking into account the environment and social implications.”

Recognised sustainability tools

In addition to their own Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and IFC’s Performance Standards, the World Bank has been a guiding force in the development of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools. Widely endorsed by industry, governments, financial institutions, and social and environmental non-profit organisations, the tools are currently being used by developers and operators around the world to design, build and assess hydropower projects of all types and sizes.

The World Bank has applied the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) to eight of its projects across four regions, and worked to increase institutional knowledge among governments.

Due to the pandemic however, it is particularly challenging for the World Bank to train officials working in hydropower on how to use the tools.

Embedding the tools in the bank’s operations

The International Hydropower Association (IHA)'s sustainability division, which provides training and accreditation in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, provided a welcome solution to this challenge by organising its first ever virtual training for World Bank staff earlier this month.

The three-week Certified User Training brought together around 40 employees working with the public and private sectors, including senior safeguard coordinators, programme managers, operations, energy, environmental, social, legal and dam specialists, to learn how to use the tools to identify and mitigate risks when financing a hydropower project.

The online course follows other recent collaborations between IHA and the World Bank including the development of a handbook on operations and maintenance strategies.

Providing a foundation for further embedding the tools in the bank’s operations, the course looked at how the Hydropower Sustainability Tools closely align with its ESF and IFC’s Performance Standards, but with a focus on the hydropower sector.

A deeper understanding

“The training with IHA on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools has been excellent,” said Ruth Tiffer-Sotomayor, Senior Environmental Specialist of the World Bank, who facilitated the course.

“It provided a deeper understanding of how these tools can be used along with the World Bank’s policies including our environmental and social standards to reduce risks and impacts and to use good and best international practices for better planning, construction and operation of hydropower.”

The course is designed as four modules with a blend of online as well as offline lessons. Participants take part in virtual classrooms, in which the trainer delivers live lessons, with group activities and Q&A sessions. On completion, participants complete an exam to be accredited as a Certified User of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

Flexible and interactive

“This is a very well structured, engaging training delivered by experienced, world-class experts,” said one of the participants, Christina Leb, Senior Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank. “I can highly recommend it to anyone interested in finding out more about the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and in learning how to apply them in different situations.”

Designed to be flexible and interactive, the Certified User Training course allows for participants to complete assignments on their own, discuss findings and share experiences.

“The course aims to equip participants with the fundamental knowledge and skills to apply the Hydropower Sustainability Tools,” noted IHA Senior Sustainability Specialist Joao Costa, who delivered the course alongside Accredited Lead Assessor Joerg Hartmann.

“It is clear that hydropower has an important role to play globally as we aim to ‘build back better’. Our challenge is to make sure projects are developed and operated responsibly and sustainably," Mr Costa said.

By taking this course, the World Bank staff have shown their commitment to greening our energy systems and providing clean, reliable and sustainable electricity for all.

For more information on the online training courses, please visit hydropower.org/training

If you or your organisation are interested in booking an online Certified User Training, please contact sustainability@hydropower.org.

15/7/2020
Pumped storage hydropower has ‘crucial role’ in Europe’s energy strategy
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European governments should scale-up their pumped storage capacity, according to the EU Parliament.

MEPs voted resoundingly in favour of a report on energy strategy last week which describes the hydropower technology as playing “a crucial role in energy storage”.

   

Tabled by Claudia Gamon MEP, the report calls on EU member states to fully explore their energy storage potential looking a range of solutions including pumped hydro. It also requests the European Commission develops a comprehensive strategy on storage in line with renewables targets.

Backed by 557 parliamentarians, with 22 voting against, the report notes that “the EU is not exploiting the full potential of this carbon-neutral and highly efficient way of storing energy.”

“With an efficiency degree of 75-80 per cent, [pumped storage hydropower] accounts for 97 per cent of the EU’s current energy storage facilities. It is a well proven and efficient way of storing energy at competitive costs.”

A series of recommendations are made to remove regulatory barriers to pumped storage projects, including double-charging, tax and permitting obstacles that can delay or hinder market uptake.

In addition the report:

  • Urges EU member states to seek ways to enhance pumped storage hydropower (PSH) capacity, alongside multi-purpose uses of existing and new reservoirs
  • Calls on member states to remove any administrative obstacles to delayed projects, and provide regulatory support for innovative approaches
  • Points to the opportunities and environmental benefits of upgrading existing capacity for storage applications

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), commented: “The resounding vote by the European Parliament recognises the obvious: we need more energy storage. That will not happen by magic. European politicians have a huge opportunity as part of green economic stimulus packages to facilitate pumped storage hydro development through enabling policies and incentivising markets."

According to IHA’s 2020 Hydropower Status Report, the European region - including non-EU member states such as the United Kingdom and Turkey - has a total installed capacity of 55 gigawatts. Reflecting the slow growth in additional pumped storage capacity, just four MW of additional capacity was added across the region in 2019.

Twelve proposed pumped storage projects were included in the European Commission’s list of cross-border Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). Recommendations were also published as part of the EU Taxonomy for sustainable finance, in the form of guidance and eligibility criteria for investments into sectors. These support green growth and align with the EU’s net zero 2050 target, including hydropower.

The EU commission has also recently launched research and innovation initiatives focusing on hydropower’s potential, including Hydropower Europe, XFLEX HYDRO (Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility), and Hydroflex.

Learn more about pumped storage hydropower by downloading IHA’s working paper: ‘The world’s water battery: Pumped hydropower storage and the clean energy transition’

View our Pumped Storage Tracking Tool

8/7/2020
Renewables associations issue statement on the green recovery
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The world’s leading renewable associations have issued a joint statement setting out policy priorities for a green recovery involving accelerated clean energy deployment.

Under the banner of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance), the five associations representing the bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind power industries say a world powered 100% by renewable energy will only be achieved by greater technology integration.

“Together, the renewable energy technologies are greater than the sum of their parts. A significant increase of investment in renewables will fuel economic growth, create employment and contribute to a climate-safe future,” they say.

The alliance’s six-point joint statement calls for

  • Accelerated renewables deployment, especially in heating, cooling and transportation, also by connecting all sectors
  • Substantial financial incentives for renewables to create a competitive advantage for end-users and encourage self-supply
  • Additional benefits and services of renewables to be considered when designing market mechanisms, not just lowest price
  • Broader policy frameworks devoted to a just and inclusive energy transition
  • Development of green skills and renewable jobs offered to communities
  • Mapping and promotion of the health benefits of a green energy-based economy

Read the joint statement

The International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance) brings together five renewable industry organisations to promote the use of renewable energy technologies worldwide: the International Hydropower Association, the International Geothermal Association, the International Solar Energy Society, the World Bioenergy Association, and the World Wind Energy Association.

The goal of the REN Alliance is to foster collaboration among renewables, promoting successful implementation strategies, enhancing business conditions and developing markets. This is done by providing reliable information to inform decision-making nationally and internationally to further the principles and goals set out in the 2004 Bonn Declaration on Renewable Energies.

Last week the REN Alliance hosted an online conference together with senior representatives of the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the REN21 think tank. The organisations examined how renewable industries, working together, can scale up climate action and accelerate access to clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy for all. Watch the webinar

In 2019, renewables contributed just over a quarter (27.3 per cent) of total global electricity production according to REN21’s Global Status Report. Hydropower is the single largest contributor of clean electricity at 15.9 per cent, followed by wind power (5.9 per cent), solar photovoltaics (2.8 per cent), bioenergy (2.2 per cent) and geothermal and other sources (0.4 per cent).

Read more about IHA’s work to promote a green economic recovery, including our paper on hydropower and Covid-19.

   

   

2/7/2020
Webinar: REN Alliance webinar on renewables working together
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30 June 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has created the biggest global crisis in generations, aside from the climate crisis. While some of the lockdown measures are being eased, governments are devising stimulus and recovery packages to shape societies and economies for years to come.

Over the last months, we have seen how the proportion of energy supply met by renewables has reached historic highs in China, Europe, India, the UK, and the USA. This continues a trend seen since 2011. But the pace of change is not enough to meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.

A global green recovery is needed. Increasing the investment priorities in renewables will fuel economic growth, create employment opportunities, enhance human welfare, and contribute to a climate-safe future. Bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind offer ready solutions to combat climate change; sustainable, decarbonised economies; and resilient inclusive societies.    

This webinar hosted by the REN Alliance focused on the trends and opportunities for how bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind technologies can work together to create a ‘green COVID-19 recovery’.

Speakers representing each of these technologies presented on how renewables working together can build on Covid-19 recovery strategies to scale up climate action and accelerate access to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy for all.

Watch the video

Speakers:

• Eddie Rich, Chair of REN Alliance and IHA CEO

• Rana Adib, Executive Secretary at REN21

• Roland Roesch, Deputy Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Center

• Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division at IEA

• Bharadwaj Kummamuru, Executive Director at the World Bioenergy Association (WBA)

• Marit Brommer, Executive Director at the International Geothermal Association (IGA)

• Cristina Diez Santos, Senior Analyst at the International Hydropower Association (IHA)

• Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General at World Wind Energy Association (WWEA)

• Jennifer McIntosh, Executive Secretary at the International Solar Energy Society (ISES)

26/6/2020
Mentoring scheme for women in hydropower seeks applicants
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The Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program is now accepting applications for the 2020 - 2021 year

The program provides an opportunity for women to connect, generate new friendships and networks, and share experiences in a supportive environment.

It is supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), WaterPower Canada, the U.S. National Hydropower Association (NHA), Northwest Hydroelectric Association (NWHA), Midwest Hydro Users Group (MHUG), and HydroVision International.

   

Launched in 2017, the goal of the Program is to create a meaningful connection where the mentor and mentee become collaborators in each other’s success.

“The feedback about women’s experiences in this mentorship program has been overwhelmingly positive and illustrates how critical women to women mentorship is.” says Nora Rosemore from Minnesota Power, who serves as the Chair of the Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program Steering Committee.  

A volunteer steering committee, passionate about mentorship and supporting women in the hydro industry, match the applicants into traditional or reciprocal mentorship pairs. Each mentorship pair is unique and adapts to a relationship style and meeting format that works best for them, meeting once a month for eight months, from October to May.

Applications close on 3rd August 2020 and pairings will be announced in September.

If you would like to apply, please complete the application form and email it to womeninhydropower@gmail.com.  

Steering Committee Members:

Nora Rosemore – Minnesota Power

Dawn Presler – Snohomish PUD

Amanda Blank – Alliant Energy

Kelly Schaeffer – Kleinschmidt

Kelly Maloney – Brookfield Renewable

Kristina Newhouse – Avista Utilities

Stephanie Hun – SNC Lavalin

Yiying Xiong – RTI International

24/6/2020
IRENA advocates 150% increase in sustainable hydropower investments
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24 June 2020

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has outlined a Covid-19 recovery plan involving a major scaling up of global investment in sustainable hydropower projects to more than US$70 billion annually.

   

The agency’s report published today, Post-COVID Recovery: An Agenda for Resilience, Development and Equality, recommends a range of measures that should be adopted by governments over the next three years, and beyond.  

Scaling-up public and private energy spending to US$4.5 trillion per year would boost the world economy by an additional 1.3 per cent annually, creating 19 million additional energy transition-related jobs by 2030, IRENA says.

Jobs in the renewables sector could triple to 30 million by 2030, with IRENA estimating that every million US dollars invested in renewables could create three times more jobs than in fossil fuels.

“Renewables have proven to be the most resilient energy sources throughout the current crisis,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “This evidence should allow governments to take immediate investment decisions and policy responses to overcome the crisis.  

“With today’s recovery plan for governments, IRENA uses its global mandate on energy transitions to inform decision-making at this critical time, while staying on course toward a fully decarbonised system by 2050.”

For the hydropower sector, the report states:

  • Annual investment in hydropower (excluding pumped storage) should increase from US$22 billion to US$55 billion per year to 2030 to support the recovery and accelerate the energy transition. This represents a 150 per cent increase and is considerably larger than the increases needed for both wind (61 per cent) and solar PV (45 per cent).  
  • For pumped storage hydropower, IRENA recommends an additional US$16 billion per year of new investment.
  • Fast-tracked licensing, streamlined permitting, centralised planning, customised loans and long-term power purchase agreements are among the measures needed to boost hydropower investment and development.
  • There is also a strong need to redesign power markets to provide stable long-term signals to renewable power generators such as hydropower while also rewarding short-term flexibility.
  • Through these policy actions and investment, hydropower could contribute three million jobs by 2030, up from two million today.  

Many of the policy measures outlined the report echo recommendations put forward in IHA’s position paper released last month on the role of sustainable hydropower in the Covid-19 recovery.  

Commenting on the IRENA plan, IHA Senior Analyst Nicholas Troja said: “Today’s IRENA report again highlights hydropower’s potential to create skilled jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions at scale, and help meet the flexibility needs of modern power systems.

“Supported by IHA and the sector, policy-makers must redouble their efforts to implement these sensible measures which would help unlock billions of dollars of investment in sustainable hydropower development.”

More information

Read IHA’s Covid-19 position paper and related reports:
Hydropower.org/covid-19

18/6/2020
IEA releases Sustainable Recovery Plan with focus on hydropower modernisation
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18 June 2020

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis being felt across the world, today the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Sustainable Recovery Plan.

It seeks to show governments what they can do to boost economic growth, create jobs and put global greenhouse gas emissions into structural decline.

IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich welcomed the report: “Trillions of dollars will be spent by governments on the economic recovery. As the report demonstrates, sustainable hydropower can not only deliver long term cheap and clean energy, but also tens of thousands of skilled jobs with the right support. It should be near the top of the shopping list.”

   

It follows a meeting convened by IHA last week, between eleven top energy executives from our member companies and Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, on how hydropower can contribute to global recovery efforts.

The detailed report sets out over 30 policy measures to be carried out over the next three years requiring about USD 1 trillion of additional annual investment (from both the public and private sectors). According to the IEA, the potential benefits of such measures include the creation of roughly 9 million jobs, global GDP being 3.5% higher and GHG emissions falling by 4.5 billion tonnes.

Specifically, for the hydropower sector, the report states:

Hydropower has proven to be extremely resilient during the Covid-19 crisis, but challenging conditions such as lower wholesale prices have put revenues and capital flows at risk.

  • Well-advanced modernisation projects would not only generate skilled jobs but also avoid a steep decline in low-carbon electricity generation and support more flexible operations. The plan includes an additional USD 20 billion being spent each year, over the three years, mainly to support continued generation from existing facilities. Such levels of spending would create tens of thousands of jobs in the sector and extend the operations of around 50 GW of existing capacity.  
  • Upgrades and construction work at hydropower projects create about 3 jobs per million dollars of capital spending. This is higher than wind (1.5 jobs) but lower than solar PV on a utility-scale (9 jobs). The sector already employs about 2 million people globally.
  • To support hydropower development, the report notes the benefits of loan guarantees and preferential loans, where available, to lower the cost of financing. Longer-term policies such as carbon pricing, capacity payment mechanisms and enhanced flexibility markets are also mentioned.
  • The GHG abatement costs (< USD 5 per tCO2-eq) of modernising hydropower facilities are very low compared to extending the lifetime of nuclear facilities and new build wind and solar. In addition, the report estimates that an additional 1 GW of hydropower capacity avoids about 3 Mt CO2 emissions if displacing coal.
  • The longer-term benefits of hydropower modernisation to improving electricity security, reducing prices and building resilience was also highlighted.

On 9 July, the IEA will host the Clean Energy Transitions Summit in an effort to identify how-to step-up actions to support the proposals set out in the report.

17/6/2020
Global renewable energy report shows systemic change is urgently needed
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17 June 2020

REN21’s Renewables 2020 Global Status Report (GSR) highlights the impressive growth in renewables over the past five years but points out that governments need to take further action now to ensure a clean energy future.

REN21’s annual report, to which IHA contributes data and analysis on the hydropower sector, is a comprehensive overview of the state of renewable energy. More than 200 GW of new renewable power generating capacity was installed in 2019, the largest increase ever, raising the total globally to 2,588 GW. Of this, hydropower capacity is 1,308 GW.

Renewables accounted for 75 per cent of the global power generating capacity additions. Solar PV appears at the top of the list with 57 per cent, followed by wind (30 per cent) and hydropower (8 per cent). The rapid growth in the installed capacity and penetration of variable renewable electricity (VRE) sources highlights the need for hydropower’s storage and flexibility services.

Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) is the most developed energy storage technology in the world. According to the report, the global energy storage market reached 183 GW in 2019, with PSH accounting for 158 GW.

Hybrid systems have a prominent role in providing grid flexibility while decreasing costs and delivering technical benefits. The report presents examples of new hybrid projects of hydropower/solar in Brazil, the Philippines, Russia, and Uganda.

Despite the high growth of renewables in the power sector, REN21 cautions that this should be balanced against the continued growth in global energy demand and the low percentage of renewables in the heating, cooling and transport sectors.

Covid-19 economic stimulus recovery packages provide a unique opportunity to make a systemic shift to a low-carbon economy, but only if governments prioritise “green” recovery measures.

Such measures can deliver job creation and energy security, as well as reduced emissions and air pollution.

“It is clear, renewable power has become mainstream and that is great to see. But the progress in this one sector should not lead us to believe that renewables are guaranteed success. Governments need to take action beyond economic recovery packages. They also need to create the rules and the environment to switch to an efficient and renewables-based energy system. Globally. Now.” concludes Arthouros Zervos, President of REN21.

Eddie Rich, IHA’s CEO, says that there has never been a better time to reassess the global energy system: “It is vitally important that economic stimulus packages not only maximise the short-term benefits of infrastructure investment, but also accelerate the transition towards cleaner and lower-carbon technologies such as hydropower.”

Read more about IHA’s work to influence a green economic recovery.

16/6/2020
Hydropower CEOs hold discussion with IEA chief on need for sustainable recovery
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16 June 2020

Economic stimulus packages involving investment in sustainable hydropower among other renewables will be essential to Covid-19 recovery efforts.

This was the consensus view of senior hydropower industry CEOs and the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Hydropower Association (IHA).    

At a meeting convened by the IHA on 12 June 2020, eleven top energy executives discussed with Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, how hydropower can contribute to global recovery efforts.

Ahead of a special IEA World Energy Outlook report on sustainable recovery, Dr Birol emphasised the importance of hydropower to a modern, clean and secure energy future. The impact of Covid-19 on today’s energy sector is unprecedented and has highlighted the important role hydropower plays in providing electricity security and system flexibility, said Dr. Birol.

“The voice of hydropower is not heard loudly enough in the energy and climate debate. It already represents 16 per cent of global electricity demand and 65 per cent of renewables-based electricity with significant potential to grow, including through modernisation or refurbishment of existing hydropower.”

   

Eddie Rich, IHA’s CEO, and the eleven CEOs and top executives from IHA’s membership, presented a united message on the need for sustainable hydropower as part of the energy mix for a green recovery. “Even more than other renewables, government policies and actions drive investment in the hydropower sector. A ‘green stimulus’ for low carbon technologies and hydropower infrastructure should be a key pillar of government-led recovery packages” he said.

Despite the worldwide need for hydropower’s flexibility and grid management services to support variable renewables, investment is stagnating. Improved market design to compensate for these services are necessary to incentivise investment in plants with storage, such as pumped hydropower.

Yves Marie Giraud, Director of EDF-Hydro, France, said hydropower was the best way and the only way to store energy in large quantities and over long periods, but markets should be designed better to reflect this.

“Usually, we do not have the appropriate market design nor the mechanisms to support storage in general, and pumped storage plants in particular.”

This view was echoed by Stephen Davy, CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Australia, who said: “Pumped hydropower investment is the easiest and most straightforward way to maximise solar and wind generation in the energy system. In Australia we are promoting the market measures required to properly value storage and flexibility.”

In developing countries where the fiscal response to the Covid-19 crisis is limited, multilateral development banks will be critical in financing or refinancing viable projects.

Anton-Louis Olivier, CEO of REH Group, based in South Africa, said: “With the growing emphasis and prevalence of solar and lower cost but intermittent resources, we should not neglect the need for hydro to create the base on which these lower cost technologies can also enter into the market.

“My message to the IEA in dealing with the international financial sector and multilaterals guiding the future of the energy sector in Africa is to remember that hydro, large and small, can still play a significant role in the continent, and can contribute to a growing and decarbonised power sector.”

Dr Birol acknowledged the points made by the industry speakers, including about the importance of storage, modernising plants, and keeping long-term policy support; as well as the multiple non-energy benefits of hydropower, such as flood and drought control, irrigation and climate resilience.

As well as feeding into this week’s IEA World Energy Outlook special report, the discussion will be considered for the IEA’s Clean Energy Transitions Summit on 9 July 2020. Dr Birol pledged to take the feedback from the meeting to the government ministers and policymakers attending the Summit.

Roger Gill, IHA President, said the meeting was very timely for the hydropower sector to outline the measures needed to spur sustainable hydropower and support the recovery, particularly relating to incentivising storage and modernisation projects.

“Sustainability must be at the heart of our response to the crisis,” said Mr Gill.  “Over the coming weeks and months IHA will continue to offer our assistance to the industry and press home our message on the role of sustainable hydropower development to support the recovery, boost jobs and to help build low-carbon, resilient economies.”

Other contributions to the meeting included:

“Increased hydropower investment will support the economic revival in China. It is expected that we will start construction of a project involving investment of around USD20bn in the second half of this year. In other parts of the world there is a need for increased investment in hydropower to recover from the crisis.” WU Shiyong, General Manager, Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, China

“I believe that in the recovery from Covid-19 we should be sure to do it in a sustainable way and thinking not just of electricity but also of water. These two needs are very important in the world right now.” Irene Cañas, CEO, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Costa Rica

“We hope the IHA and IEA can support hydropower sustainable development and help in setting up national energy policies so that we have tax incentives, green bonds, and fast-track approval by the authorities; and also potentially look at internationalising the renewable energy certificate initiative.” James Ung Sing Kwong, CEO, SEB Power, Malaysia

“A good measure done by the Brazilian govt was the declaration of suspension of financing and debt service payments for projects being done by the federal bank for up to six months. This could be followed by other countries.

“Brazil is not building any hydropower at this time. Getting even basic engineering design and environmental studies required for the licensing takes between two to three years. We should urgently resume the preparation of projects.” Gil Maranhao Neto, Chief Strategy, Communications & CSR Officer, ENGIE Brasil, Brazil

“One of the main concerns is the low cost of electricity around the world, it will be very difficult to finance hydropower projects. We see that sustainable hydropower projects are competing with wind and solar for example with green subsidies. It’s important to find ways to get the right long-term market conditions to support hydropower development.” Hörður Arnarson, CEO, Landsvirkjun, Iceland

“This technology of hydro has proven you can run it during a pandemic situation so if you look through the lens of future modernisation, how do we pandemic-proof our hydro plants? How do you minimise the impacts?” Herbie Johnson, General Manager, Southern Company, US

“It is important to focus on maintaining the existing capacity of the hydropower fleet through refurbishment activities. We would also like the IEA to support a long-term framework for the future.” Hilde Bakken, Executive Vice President, Statkraft, Norway

A recording of the meeting can be viewed here

28/5/2020
Invest in hydropower to tackle coronavirus and climate crisis impacts
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Market & Finance, Climate Change

IHA publishes 2020 Hydropower Status Report and Covid-19 paper

28 May 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined hydropower’s resilience and critical role in delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy, especially in times of crisis.

This is the conclusion of two new reports published today by the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

The 2020 Hydropower Status Report presents latest worldwide installed capacity and generation data, showcasing the sector’s contribution to global carbon reduction efforts. It is published alongside a Covid-19 policy paper featuring recommendations for governments, financial institutions and industry to respond to the current health and economic crisis.    

“Preventing an emergency is far better than responding to one,” says Roger Gill, President of IHA, highlighting the need to incentivise investments in renewable infrastructure. “The events of the past few months must be a catalyst for stronger climate action, including greater development of sustainable hydropower.”

Now in its seventh edition, the Hydropower Status Report shows electricity generation hit a record 4,306 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2019, the single greatest contribution from a renewable energy source in history.

The annual rise of 2.5 per cent (106 TWh) in hydroelectric generation – equivalent to the entire electricity consumption of Pakistan – helped to avoid an estimated additional 80-100 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted last year.

The report also highlights:

  • Global hydropower installed capacity reached 1,308 gigawatts (GW) in 2019, as 50 countries and territories completed greenfield and upgrade projects.
  • A total of 15.6 GW in installed capacity was added in 2019, down on the 21.8 GW recorded in 2018. This represents a rise of 1.2 per cent, which is below the estimated 2.0 per cent growth rate required for the world to meet Paris Agreement carbon reduction targets.
  • India has overtaken Japan as the fifth largest world hydropower producer with its total installed capacity now standing at over 50 GW. The countries with the highest increases in 2019 were Brazil (4.92 GW), China (4.17 GW) and Laos (1.89 GW).
  • Hydropower’s flexibility services have been in high demand during the Covid-19 crisis, while plant operations have been less affected due to the degree of automation in modern facilities.
  • Hydropower developments have not been immune to economic impacts however, with the industry facing widespread uncertainty and liquidity shortages which have put financing and refinancing of some projects at risk.

In a companion policy paper, IHA sets out the immediate impacts of the crisis on the sector as well as recommendations to assist governments and financial institutions and enhance hydropower’s contribution to the recovery.

The recommendations include:

  • Increasing the ambition of renewable energy and climate change targets which incorporate the role of sustainable hydropower development.
  • Supporting sustainable hydropower through introducing appropriate financial measures such as tax incentives to ensure viable and shovel-ready projects can commence.
  • Fast-tracking planning approvals to ensure the development and modernisation of hydropower projects can commence as soon as possible, in line with internationally recognised sustainability guidelines.
  • Safeguarding investment by extending deadlines for concession agreements and other awarded projects.
  • Given the increasing need for long-duration energy storage such as pumped storage, working with regulators and system operators to develop appropriate compensation mechanisms for hydropower’s flexibility services.

2020 Hydropower Status Report
hydropower.org/statusreport

IHA Covid-19 communications
hydropower.org/covid-19

   

Join the conversation

On social media use the hashtag #hydropower2020

Comment on the report in Hydropower Pro, our online community.

Visit IHA's Covid-19 communications centre: hydropower.org/covid-19

Watch our video on Twitter and LinkedIn

Media enquiries:

Will Henley, IHA Head of Communications
communications@hydropower.org

17/5/2020
Hydropower associations unite to set Covid-19 recovery pathway
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18 May 2020

In an unprecedented joint statement, 16 international and national organisations representing the global hydropower sector today set out guiding principles for energy infrastructure policy in the Covid-19 recovery.    

The organisations represent hydropower developers, operators, manufacturers, researchers and innovators including the world’s largest hydropower producers in China, the United States, Canada and Russia, among other countries.

Their statement, coordinated by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), sets out how the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated hydropower’s resilience and critical role in delivering power and water supplies to communities, industry and essential services.

Watch our video on Twitter and LinkedIn

Widespread uncertainty and liquidity shortages have however put financing and refinancing of many hydropower projects at risk. In some regions, new and upgrade projects have also been halted, contributing to a fall in confidence regarding future investments and operations.

The 16 organisations call on policy-makers to recognise hydropower’s vital importance to the clean energy transition, due to the unique services it provides to integrate and support variable renewables such as solar and wind.

“As the single largest source of renewable electricity with unique flexibility services to support the integration of variable renewable energy, hydropower will be vital to the future energy system. All countries that have achieved 100 per cent renewable electricity have relied heavily on hydropower.

“Furthermore, hydropower delivers vital means of managing freshwater, providing supplies for agriculture, homes and businesses, and mitigating the impacts of extreme weather events such as floods and drought.

“Yet hydropower’s contribution in maintaining system reliability has not been properly recognised, incentivised by policy makers or appropriately valued by the market," the statement reads.

The hydropower and generator associations set out the following principles for green and resilient infrastructure stimulus packages as they call on decision-makers to build more sustainable hydropower projects:

Call to action:

  • Ensure the recovery facilitates the development of sustainable hydropower projects as an essential part of the energy transition and wider development strategy to help kick-start our global economy. This should include modernisation and rehabilitation projects.
  • Focus on sustainable hydropower development to ensure that economically viable and shovel-ready projects can commence.
  • Where possible and within reason, fast-track planning approvals to ensure the development and modernisation of hydropower projects can commence as soon as possible to help stimulate the economy.
  • In regions where this applies, extend any construction deadlines for hydropower projects that have previously benefited from government programmes to secure the finance already committed.
  • Given the increasing need for long-duration energy storage such as pumped storage, work with regulators and system operators to develop appropriate compensation mechanisms that recognise and value all the attributes hydropower provides to the grid.
  • Not only maintain but increase the ambition of renewable energy and climate change targets which incorporate the role of sustainable hydropower development. This will instil much needed confidence in the sector.

The 16 organisations in addition stress the importance of all projects adopting good environmental, social and governance practices in line with the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

Signatory organisations:

Country/region
Association:

Worldwide

International Hydropower Association (IHA)

Canada

WaterPower Canada

China

China Society for Hydropower Engineering

Colombia

ACOLGEN

Indonesia

Indonesia Hydropower Association

Kyrgyzstan

Small Hydropower Plants Association of the Kyrgyz Republic

Mexico

Mexican Association of Hydroelectricity

Mongolia

Small Hydropower Association Mongolia

Norway

Energy Norway

Norway

International Centre for Hydropower (ICH)

Poland

Polish Hydropower Association / TEW

Poland

Polish Association for Small Hydropower Development

Russia

Association "Hydropower of Russia"

Uganda

Hydro Power Association of Uganda

United Kingdom

British Hydropower Association

USA

National Hydropower Association (NHA)

Read the statement in full (pdf).

hydropower.org/covid-19

7/5/2020
Gaining Indigenous Peoples’ consent for sustainable hydropower
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7 May 2020

Good practice guidance seeks Indigenous communities’ free, prior and informed consent for hydropower development

New sustainability guidance will give increased confidence to local communities, industry and investors that hydropower projects can be successfully developed while respecting Indigenous People’s lands, rights and culture.    

An Indigenous Peoples prayer ceremony at Nepal's UT-1 hydropower project

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of social and environmental NGOs, industry, government and financial institutions, released the guidance as amendments to its Hydropower Sustainability Tools, which are used to assess and rate project performance.

‘A bridge of faith’

Projects which achieve the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of affected Indigenous People will now be recognised as meeting international good practice in sustainable hydropower development. FPIC is a principle recognised in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is a condition of performance standards issued by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation.

Phurpa Tamang is an Indigenous People’s advocate who advised on the guidance as part of a specially appointed working group which included representatives of civil society and business. “Gaining consent is important because Indigenous People cannot be separated from natural resources due to religious, spiritual and cultural reasons and for livelihoods,” he said.

Phurpa helped facilitate a community consultation with Nepal’s Upper Trishuli-1 (UT-1) hydropower project, which successfully achieved the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the affected Indigenous communities. “The FPIC process developed a bridge of faith and belief between developers and locals and became a kind of conflict management mechanism,” he said.

The new guidance updates language in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools’ Assessment Protocol and ESG Gap Analysis Tool, which previously required no major opposition instead of consent during stakeholder consultation.

To achieve good practice, a project will now need to demonstrate FPIC following the principle of proportionality with respect to the affected Indigenous Peoples’ rights at risk. Developers will also need to establish that good-faith consultation with Indigenous Peoples’ institutions has been carried out through a culturally appropriate, two-way process, with a mutually-agreed disputes procedure.

Led by David Harrison, a water resources consultant and former board chairman of The Nature Conservancy, the working group reviewed existing safeguards and standards from international financial institutions and commissioned a study on international law.

“FPIC is not just an outcome, it is an on-going process of good faith consultation and negotiation,” Mr Harrison said. “The amendments help to make FPIC practical and effective. The first, the principle of proportionality, brings in a balancing between the degree of impacts and the rights of Indigenous People involved. The second is the increase of emphasis on the procedural aspects.”

Eddie Rich, CEO of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), said: “We know that community consultation, especially of Indigenous People, is one of the most important aspects of planning and developing any infrastructure project. This guidance will help developers and Indigenous People to work together, recognising their rights, livelihood and dignity, and will mean sustainable projects receive the investment they deserve.”

Juergen Schuol, Head of Sustainability at Voith Hydro, an international supplier of hydropower plant equipment, said: “With the FPIC amendments in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools we now have clarity on the extent of consultation and consent required. This is a significant step forward for hydropower companies, assessors and most importantly the local stakeholders, especially Indigenous Peoples.”

Greg Guldin from Cross-Cultural Consulting Services, who was engaged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to facilitate the FPIC process on Nepal’s UT-1 project, said: “The new FPIC agreement puts the hydropower sector on the frontlines of an emerging new partnership paradigm of engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

“Hydro projects can turn FPIC and Indigenous Peoples policies into veritable project bonuses by increasing the likelihood that local communities will feel engaged and ready to partner with projects over the long term.”

Further information:

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, which governs the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, includes representatives of social, community and environmental organisations, governments, commercial and development banks and the hydropower sector. The International Hydropower Association (IHA) acts as the council’s management entity and is responsible for overseeing training and accreditation.

The Hydropower Sustainability Tools define and measure sustainability in the hydropower sector. The amendments related to Indigenous Peoples have been made to the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which is used to assess projects against social, environmental and governance performance criteria, and the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool, which identifies gaps against good practice.

Learn more: hydrosustainability.org

Related links:

7/5/2020
Achieving Indigenous consent for hydropower in Nepal
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7 May 2020

In Nepal, the Tamang Indigenous People gave their free, prior and informed consent to a new 216 megawatt run-of-river project.

The River Trishuli flows down the steep Himalayas and enters Nepal with such force and speed that it was named after the trident of Lord Shiva, the most powerful of Hindu gods. Legend has it he drove his trident into the ground to create the source of the sacred river.    

Tamang people consecrating FPIC agreements  - credit Gregory Guldin and NEFIN

The river’s immense hydropower potential has for long been recognised, but to date has remained untapped. This year the Nepal Water and Energy Development Company (NWEDC) however aims to begin construction on a 216 megawatt (MW) run-of-river project, the Upper Trishuli-1 (UT-1).

Providing electricity for up to nine million people, the hydropower station is central to Nepal meeting its growing energy demands. The project was approved after successfully consulting with affected Indigenous Peoples and gaining their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

FPIC – ‘a give and take tool’

FPIC is a principle recognised in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is a condition of investment performance standards issued by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC).    

Adibasi Janajati Advisory Council (translates to Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council) - credit Gregory Guldin and NEFIN

The US$453 million UT-1 project in Rasuwa district has implications for the area’s Indigenous Peoples, most of whom belong to the Tamang community. The project will affect almost 80 hectares of land.

One of the project’s lenders, IFC, employed Greg Guldin, an expert from Cross-Cultural Consulting Services to facilitate the process of achieving FPIC with the affected Indigenous People alongside Phurpa Tamang, an Indigenous People’s advocate and a project-affected person who was appointed by NWEDC.

According to Phurpa, the Tamang people have a deep connection to the Trishuli River and cannot be separated from it for religious, spiritual and cultural reasons. “When a project is in operation, our water, forest and land will be disrupted or lost,” he says. “But this can be mitigated through FPIC, a give-and-take tool for Indigenous Peoples by which we can make compromises with project developers and co-plan our future.”

Good faith negotiations

Under the community consultation process that was implemented, the Adibasi Janajati Advisory Council (AJAC) was created to support decision-making, consisting of 85 representatives from 10 villages.

CEO receives consecrated [FPIC] Consent Statement - credit Gregory Guldin and NEFIN

“The FPIC process required by the international financial institutions was initially met with a lot of scepticism by critics, who feared failure and said written and signed consent was nearly impossible,” said Greg. “But it was achieved in six months.”

The FPIC process was accomplished through good faith negotiations between the Indigenous Peoples organisations, the company’s management, and the project’s lenders, Greg says. “The more engaged the Indigenous Peoples felt, the less likely there were to be misunderstandings and conflicts.”
NWEDC went on to receive the signed consent of the AJAC from its chairman, a former critic of the project, on 2 November 2018.

The UT-1 project will deliver a benefits package for local communities including new infrastructure, such as roads, schools and health services. The local Tamang will also be offered share options, allowing them to become equity shareholders in the project.

“UT-1 was started 12 years ago, but there were no signs of success and few local Tamang supported it.” Phurpa added. “With FPIC, a new door has opened for both the project and the Tamang community to achieve a ‘win-win’.”

Read more about Indigenous Peoples and FPIC.

7/5/2020
Hydropower assessment tools aligned with World Bank standards
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Sustainability assessment tools have been enhanced to better align with ESG requirements set by international financial institutions such as IFC and the World Bank.

Use of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools will mean hydropower developers better understand how their project can achieve the performance standards required by major investment banks for all types of infrastructure projects.  

   

The tools comprise the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which is used to assess projects against 26 social, environmental and governance performance areas, and the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool, which identifies gaps against good practice and produces a gap management plan.  

Commissioning an independent assessment using these tools can help prepare project developers to meet lender requirements.

The tools offer a scoring framework specific to hydropower, and in some areas go beyond the requirements of international financial institutions by covering topics such as climate change and hydrological resource.

“The tools can help high-performing projects demonstrate why they merit investment and ensure the best outcomes for the environment and local communities” said Eddie Rich, CEO of the International Hydropower Association (IHA). “At IHA, we encourage our members to sustainability test new projects and are pleased to offer training to strengthen institutional capacity on delivering good and best practice.”

The changes include an update to assessment guidance on consultations with Indigenous Peoples, meaning projects will need to seek the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of affected Indigenous Peoples to achieve international good practice. This brings the assessment tools into line with IFC performance standards and the World Bank’s environmental and social standards.

Other changes to the HESG relate to its structure and section titles. For example HESG section 4 is now titled Community Impacts and Infrastructure Safety, more closely relating the Word Bank’s ESS4 standard on Community Health and Safety.

The tools are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, whose members include representatives of organisations such as the World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, WWF, the Inter-American Development Corporation, hydropower companies and governments.  

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) acts as the council’s management secretariat and is responsible for overseeing training and assessor accreditation.

To enquire about training or to identify an accredited assessor please contact sustainability@hydropower.org

Download the assessment tools:

Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool

7/5/2020
Q&A: Indigenous Peoples, FPIC and hydropower
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In May 2020, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council updated the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, which are used by independent assessors to assess a hydropower project’s performance in accordance with internationally recognised good and best practices.

The changes include the addition of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as a requirement of meeting good practice for hydropower projects that affect Indigenous Peoples.

   

What is Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC)?

FPIC is a principle enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP), agreed and adopted by member governments on 13 September 2007. It establishes a ‘universal framework’ of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of Indigenous Peoples.

What are the new requirements under the Hydropower Sustainability Tools?

To achieve good practice when seeking stakeholder support for a hydropower project, a project will need to show that FPIC has been achieved with respect to the Indigenous Peoples’ rights at risk following the principle of proportionality. To achieve best practice, in addition FPIC will need to be demonstrated for directly affected indigenous groups for the entire project.

A hydropower developer is expected to engage in good-faith consultation with Indigenous Peoples’ institutions of representation and decision-making, as determined by them. The engagement process shall be appropriately timed, culturally appropriate and two-way. In addition, ongoing processes need to be in place for Indigenous Peoples to raise issues and gain feedback, with a mutually-agreed disputes procedure.

The guidance on Indigenous Peoples has also been amended in relation to assessing the project-affected community, management and outcomes. See the guidance for full details.

How is FPIC defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools?

Free, Prior and Informed Consent is defined as both a process and an outcome.

The process involves (i) good-faith consultation; (ii) mutual and cross- cultural understanding with dialogue that is ongoing and open, and gender and inter-generationally inclusive whenever possible (with gender and age disaggregated data and analysis); (iii) inclusive and participatory engagement, including during the assessment of issues and the identification of mitigation measures, with clarity on the level of participation of Indigenous Peoples throughout the consultation process; (iv) provision of adequate resources to ensure that the Indigenous Peoples representatives can participate in the FPIC process equitably, including the services of independent technical or legal consultants (such as Indigenous Peoples Organization); (v) mutual agreement on the process and desired outcome from the outset of the consultation; and (vi) documentation that is evaluated on an ongoing basis, is verifiable by a mutually agreed methodology, and made publicly available.

The outcome is the agreement and the evidence thereof (including thorough documentation of how the agreement was achieved). Types of evidence include surveys, signatures on plans, records of meetings, video/ audio records, public hearing records, public statements, governmental license, court decisions, etc. Recollections of community elders cannot be accepted as evidence without supplementary forms acknowledged by and easily accessible to the counterparties to the agreements. FPIC does not require unanimity in the indigenous community and does not grant individuals or groups veto rights over a project. At the level of proven best practice, FPIC is to be achieved for the entire project, irrespective of the principle of proportionality.

How are Indigenous Peoples defined?

The term Indigenous Peoples refers to a distinct social and cultural group possessing the following characteristics in varying degrees: self-identification as members of a distinct indigenous cultural group and recognition of this identity by others; collective attachment to geographically distinct habitats or ancestral territories in the project area and to the natural resources in these habitats and territories; customary cultural, economic, social or political institutions that are separate from those of the dominant society or culture; an Indigenous language, often different from the official language of the country or part of the country within which they reside. In some countries, interactions with Indigenous Peoples may be required to be conducted through a specific government agency.

What are Indigenous Peoples’ rights?

Indigenous Peoples’ rights are documented in places such as in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) and the International Labour Organisation Convention No. 169. They include right to self- determination, right to ownership and property, right to practise and revitalise cultural traditions and customs, right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies, right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. Indigenous Peoples’ rights are considered at risk when project activities or impacts prevent Indigenous Peoples from exercising their rights.

What does ‘good-faith consultation’ mean?

Good-faith consultation involves (i) willingness to engage in a process and availability to meet at reasonable times and frequency on the part of all parties; (ii) sharing of information that is accessible and understandable to the Indigenous Peoples, disseminated in a culturally-appropriate manner and in the local language(s)/dialect(s); (ii) commitment that Indigenous Peoples have been fully informed of project impacts affecting their rights; (iv) use of mutually acceptable procedures for negotiation; (v) willingness to change initial positions and modify offers where possible; and (vi) provision of sufficient time for the Indigenous Peoples to consider information using their customary internal processes.

What is the ‘principle of proportionality’?

The new guidance applies a principle of proportionality which stipulates that the extent of consultation and consent required is proportional to the nature and scope of the Indigenous rights that are impacted by the project. Ordinarily, consent will not be required for impacts that are not significant to Indigenous Peoples. However, good-faith consultation is required for this determination. Two situations, in which a project must obtain the consent of an indigenous community, are stated in the UN DRIP as follows: (i) when the project will result in the community’s relocation from its traditional territories, and (ii) in cases involving the storage or disposal of toxic waste within Indigenous lands.

Who issued the new sustainability guidance?

The amended guidance on FPIC was issued by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of social and environmental NGOs, industry, government and financial institutions whose role is to develop guidelines and assessment tools for the hydropower sector. The decision-making committee of the council currently includes representatives from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Energias de Portugal (EDP), Voith Hydro, the New Development Bank, the World Bank,the Women for Water Partnership, Sarawak Energy Berhad, the Office of Investment Board of the Government of Nepal and Hohai University, China.

Why was the guidance changed?

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council gave a mandate to its executive committee to establish a working group, named the Hydropower Sustainability Working Group on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC-WG), to review good practice around hydropower activities affecting Indigenous communities. The objective was to find stronger agreement on the language that defines good international industry practice on this topic, and how this practice should be assessed at the project level.

How was the new language decided?

The  FPIC-WG reviewed the current language on Indigenous Peoples in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools to determine whether any substantive changes were needed. It based its review on previous assessment case studies, analysis of existing standards and international law. In parallel, the working group evaluated the scope, relevance and applicability of current FPIC language in existing standards, including the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, the World Bank Environmental and Social Standard 7 (ESS7) and the IFC Performance Standard 7 (PS7).

The FPIC-WG sought guidance from a former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to conduct legal research and analysis of applicable international law as to the duty to consult Indigenous Peoples, i.e. when and under what circumstances FPIC is required by international law, and how compliance with such requirements should be measured. The legal report, along with the assessment cases studies and the analysis of existing standards, provided the basis for the working group’s deliberation.

Following the approval of the good practice language, the council’s management entity and secretariat, hosted by the International Hydropower Association’s sustainability division, updated the best practice language and assessment guidance through collaboration with experienced accredited assessors and council members.  

   

28/4/2020
IHA and IRENA coalition call for renewables-driven recovery
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While the Covid-19 pandemic is the world’s most pressing threat with its tragic impacts on families everywhere requiring urgent action, we must not lose sight of climate targets and the sustainable development goals.    

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has teamed up with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and more than 100 renewable energy organisations to issue a joint call for action urging policy-makers to prioritise green growth as part of their Covid-19 recovery plans.

The recommendations cover a range of priority actions to ensure a rapid and sustained economic recovery, promoting renewable solutions as well as the need for market and policy frameworks that support storage and flexibility - services which are provided by sustainable hydropower.

The call for action says: “To provide long-term policy certainty in this time of crisis, governments must consider affirming existing and planned support schemes, as well as continuing to implement appropriate market and policy frameworks that support grid development, storage and flexibility, and other infrastructure critical to support a higher penetration of renewable energy.

“Permitting and siting approvals should be fast-tracked so that the renewable energy industry can plan ahead and protect its workforce.”

Last week IRENA published its 2020 Global Renewables Outlook, which called for stimulus and recovery packages that will “accelerate the shift to sustainable, decarbonised economies and resilient inclusive societies”.

Recovery measures should include investment in “interconnected hydropower” among other technologies, said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “With the need for energy decarbonisation unchanged, such investments can safeguard against short-sighted decisions and greater accumulation of stranded assets."

The Global Renewables Outlook says that "hydropower can bring important synergies to the energy system of the future" thanks to its multiple uses and synergies with other renewable energy technologies. Policy-makers and planners around the world need to "start thinking now" about building new hydropower projects, the organisation said.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a leading member of IRENA's Coalition for Action, which was formed to promote the wider and faster uptake of renewable energy technologies. The coalition brings together private sector companies, industry associations, civil society, research institutes and intergovernmental organisations.

IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich said: "In order to meet the climate change commitments set in the Paris Agreement in 2015, hydropower needs to grow much faster. This requires determined and enabling policy, market restructuring to better incentivise energy storage, and a step change in technical integration capability globally."

In the joint statement, the IRENA Coalition for Action call on governments to:

  • Revisit deadlines for renewable energy projects that face contractual obligations for near-term delivery.
  • Designate the renewable energy industry and related infrastructure as a critical and essential sector.
  • Affirm and extend policies promoting renewable energy solutions, both centralised and decentralised.
  • Prioritise renewable energy in any stimulus measures and commit to phasing out support for fossil fuels.
  • Provide public financial support to safeguard the industry and mobilise private investment in renewable energy.
  • Enhance the role of renewable energy in industrial policies.
  • Revise labour and education policies to foster a just transition and help workers make the shift into renewable energy jobs.
  • Strengthen international co-operation and action to accelerate renewable energy deployment in line with global climate and sustainability objectives.

Read more about the IRENA Coalition for Action and its joint call for action.

23/4/2020
IHA hydropower sector climate resilience guide available in Russian
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Technical guidance to help the hydropower sector become more resilient to climate change is now available in the Russian language.    

IHA’s Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide offers a methodology for identifying, assessing and managing climate risks.

The guidance aims to help owners, developers and investors make informed decisions when planning, building, upgrading and operating hydropower facilities amid variable climatic and hydrological conditions.

The guide was developed with the financial and technical support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group and its Korea Green Growth Trust Fund. The Russian translation was supported by EBRD.

“EBRD is pleased to have provided resources for the translation of this guide into Russian” said Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments at the EBRD. “It will play a crucial role in enhancing hydropower sector climate resilience in several of our countries of operation, in particular in the Caucasus and Central Asia, by enabling a wider range of stakeholders to access the guidance. It will be immediately deployed by the EBRD on the ground in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the latter involving collaboration with the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Investment Funds.”  

“IHA is pleased to make the Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide available in Russian,” said Maria Ubierna, Senior Specialist at IHA. “We hope to reach a wider audience of project operators and developers in Russian-speaking countries through this edition, and hope they can benefit from international good practice guidance in this area.”

IHA has a strong presence in Russian-speaking countries, with gold members EuroSibEnergo and RusHydro, and affiliates in Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

Recent IHA engagement in Central Asia has included an in-depth study of the region’s modernisation needs in partnership with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). IHA also represented the hydropower sector at events such as Energy Week Uzbekistan 2019.

In February 2020, IHA launched a USD 1 million Hydropower Sustainability ESG Assessment Fund with support from the government of Switzerland. The first tranche of funding is available for projects in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan among other countries.

Read the Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide in English and Russian.

20/4/2020
IRENA: Interconnected hydro can support global Covid-19 recovery
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20 April 2020

Policy-makers and planners around the world need to "start thinking now" about building new hydropower projects, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in a report published today.

   

Writing in the Global Renewables Outlook, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera urges stimulus and recovery packages as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to “accelerate the shift to sustainable, decarbonised economies and resilient inclusive societies”.

Recovery measures should include investment in “interconnected hydropower” among other technologies, La Camera says. “With the need for energy decarbonisation unchanged, such investments can safeguard against short-sighted decisions and greater accumulation of stranded assets."

The Global Renewables Outlook report says that "hydropower can bring important synergies to the energy system of the future" thanks to its multiple uses and synergies with other renewable energy technologies.

Under IRENA’s Transforming Energy Scenario, hydropower capacity will need to increase 25% by 2030, and 60% by 2050, while pumped hydro storage capacity would need to double. When including both types of hydropower, around 850 GW of newly installed capacity is required in the next 30 years – roughly the same as the entire power system capacity of the European Union.

The report continues: “Increasing hydropower capacity does not specifically entail only building new dams: options also exist to upgrade turbines and systems in existing plants, utilise run-of-river designs and electrify non-power dams.

“Yet for new hydropower plants, planners need to consider local environmental impacts, and engage in discussions with communities in the impacted areas. Hydropower plants will also need operational changes that reflect changing power system needs, including faster and more frequent ramping, and planning practices that include evaluating the impacts of climate change on water supply and reservoir storage requirements.

“Due to longer planning cycles for new hydropower dam construction, policy makers and planners need to start thinking now about new projects. For existing dams, investments are needed to modernise old hydro plants.”

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a leading member of IRENA's Coalition for Action, which was formed to promote the wider and faster uptake of renewable energy technologies. The coalition brings together private sector companies, industry associations, civil society, research institutes and intergovernmental organisations.

IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich said: "In order to meet the climate change commitments set in the Paris Agreement in 2015, hydropower needs to grow much faster. This requires determined and enabling policy, market restructuring to better incentivise energy storage, and a step change in technical integration capability globally."

17/4/2020
Eddie Rich on how hydropower can respond to Covid-19
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17 April 2020

The International Hydropower Association's Chief Executive Eddie Rich said the hydropower sector needed to have plans ready for a post-Covid 19 economic stimulus in a videocast.

“We anticipate future economic stimulus packages, which will provide unprecedented opportunities to focus on renewable and sustainable energy infrastructure,” he said.

To be ready to take advantage of these opportunities, Eddie advised members to:

1. Have shovel-ready projects in place for the post-Covid 19 economic stimulus plans.

2. Make sure your projects have been assessed against the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

3. Demonstrate renewable coordination through hybrid projects, such as solar PV or pumped storage alongside solar or wind power.

17/4/2020
Indian hydro sector hailed for restoring power amid Covid-19 vigil
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17 April 2020

In perhaps the largest electricity experiment the world has ever seen, India’s hydropower sector was heralded last week for restoring electricity to tens of millions of households following a huge plunge in demand.

   

The fall in demand of 31,089 megawatts (MW) – equivalent to the entire power demand of Pakistan – came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for Indians to switch off their lights for nine minutes at 9pm on 5 April, to express solidarity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the Prime Minister’s aim was to unite citizens during a time of crisis, the move presented a huge challenge for power operators, who are charged with managing grid stability.

India is the world’s third largest consumer of electricity and, according to IHA’s 2019 Hydropower Status Report, has the sixth largest hydropower sector by installed capacity.

Hydropower’s role in grid stability

India’s Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) had anticipated a much smaller reduction of 12,000 to 14,000 MW in the nine-minute period than the 31, 089 MW which ultimately took place.  

Following Modi’s announcement, the state-owned company reportedly held a conference call with all state load despatch centres and major hydropower stations on 4 April, and began mock exercises on hydro ramping almost immediately.

As the country reached closer to the lights-off vigil, hydropower generation was maximised. When people began switching lights off between 8.45pm and 9.10pm, hydropower generation was then quickly reduced from 25,559 MW down to 8,016 MW to match the demand reduction.

Thanks to hydropower’s unique flexibility, the stations were then able to ramp up within seconds to meet the increased demand, as Indian households began switching their lights back on.

“In managing a staggering 31 GW ramp down on demand in matter of minutes, hydro resources helped the grid managers like a rock star,” Debashish Mishra, a partner at Deloitte India told The Mint newspaper. “Kudos to POSOCO and the LDCs (load despatch centres) for pulling off this spectacular event within the technical range of system frequency.”

In a preliminary report, POSOCO thanked hydropower operators, as well as thermal, gas and wind power operators, for their support and co-operation in meeting “this unprecedented challenge”. “The event was managed smoothly without any untoward incident while power system parameters were maintained within limits,” POSOCO said.

“This experiment provides a good example of how hydropower can provide flexibility and stability to the grid system under extreme circumstances,” said Nicholas Troja, a Senior Hydropower Analyst at the International Hydropower Association (IHA). “It again highlights the need for greater investment in flexible generation sources, particularly pumped hydropower storage.”

Professor Arun Kumar of the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee said: “The support provided by the flexibility of hydropower resources to meet the rapid drop and rise in the demand on 5 April 2020 triggered policy-makers to seriously think of installing hydropower projects, along with pumped storage.”

Read IHA’s working paper on pumped storage and our pumped storage tracking tool for more information.

16/4/2020
Canada’s award-winning ‘fish-first’ hydropower scheme
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16 April 2020

An innovative environmental stewardship scheme from Brookfield Renewable and Canada’s First Nation ‘Namgis community is helping to safeguard local fish species in British Columbia.

   

The Kokish hydroelectric facility is located on northeastern Vancouver Island, on Canada’s Pacific coast. The run-of-river facility is owned and operated by Kwagis Power, a collaboration between Brookfield Renewable Partners and the ‘Namgis First Nation.

Commissioned in 2014, Kokish has an installed capacity of 45 MW, generating enough clean renewable energy to power 13,000 homes annually.

One of the standout features of the hydropower project, apart from its unique collaboration with the ‘Namgis First Nation, has been its commitment to environmental stewardship involving the design of new ‘fish-first’ technologies.

“Respecting the environment was a priority during construction and its subsequent operation,” says Richard St-Jean, Vice-President for Generation Management at Brookfield Renewable, which is a member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

“Great care was taken not only to protect, but also to enhance the fish habitat and fisheries resources in the Kokish River watershed,” says St-Jean. “In fact, project planning began in 2004 and was followed by years of studying the river system, gathering data and preparing engineering and environmental plans.”

The Kokish River is home to Coho, Chinook, Chum, Pink and Sockeye salmon, as well as to Cutthroat, Steelhead and Rainbow trout, all important species for the ‘Namgis First Nation who have relied on these species for food throughout history.

To ensure that fish could continue to migrate, and to minimise the impact on the environment, the innovative design of the facility included a fish ladder, which allows fish to swim upstream, and an elaborate Coanda screen designed and tested to prevent fish from entering the intake box. These features ensure the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream.

According to St-Jean, the Kokish project is “not only a model of how sustainable engineering can effectively eliminate and environmental impacts, it is also a great example of how the public, First Nations communities and the private sector can collaborate and work on a renewable power project that improves our energy infrastructure.”

Since operation, the project has won several environmental and social responsibility and engineering awards, including the 2019 Clean Energy BC Environmental Stewardship Award, as well as the 2015 Social Responsibility Award from the Canadian Electricity Association and the 2015 Award of Excellence of the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

“The Kokish project is one of the most environmentally complex run-of-river hydroelectric projects that I have worked on since starting in this industry over a decade ago,” says Ian Murphy, Project Manager for Ecofish Research, a leading environmental consultancy.

“In my opinion, the application of a diligent, science-based approach was the key to successfully overcoming complex environmental challenges that were faced by the project team.”

The project is also well-received by the ‘Namgis First Nation, whose livelihoods and cultural heritage have been respected as a result.

“The health and well-being of our lands, waters and wildlife is always priority for ‘Namgis,” says Bill Cranmer, Chief of the ‘Namgis First Nation.

“I am proud and confident of the work we have done on this project. I believe that we have embarked on a strong economic opportunity for the north island, that will ultimately prove to enhance and protect all species of fish who call Kokish home.”

For more information on this project, download Brookfield Renewable’s 2019 ESG Report

Quick Facts: Kokish hydropower plant

  • Design: Run-of-River with a 9.2km Penstock from the Intake to the Powerhouse
  • Gross head: 240 m
  • Design Flow: 25 m3/s
  • Turbines: 4 x 11.25 MW Pelton (Impulse)
  • Installed Capacity: 45 MW
  • Annual Net Energy: 138 GWh
  • Construction completed: 2014

   

7/4/2020
Deadline extended for $1m assessment fund for sustainable hydropower projects
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New deadline for applications is 1 June 2020

6 April 2020 – The deadline for the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Assessment Fund announced in February has been extended to 1 June 2020.

The decision comes as a response to the general disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In a moment where we all had to make adjustments in our personal lives and professional activities, we understand a deadline extension is fair for all applicants. This will hopefully give everyone more time to plan, prepare and submit proposals,” said Joao Costa, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA.

   

All criteria of the initial Call for Proposal are upheld, and assessments can be conducted any time up to 31 December 2021.

The fund was launched to aid hydropower project developers and operators in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to benchmark and raise their social and environmental performance.

Under the initiative, a total of 1 million Swiss Francs (USD 1.02m) will be awarded to 40 or more hydropower projects between 2020 and 2024.

Successful recipients will receive a grant to part-finance the cost of commissioning an independent project assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG), a tool based on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and governed by a multi-stakeholder coalition of NGOs, governments, banks and multilateral institutions.

The scheme is managed by the International Hydropower Association’s sustainability division and funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The first tranche of funding of CHF 250,000 in 2020 will be made available for eligible projects in the following countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Projects under preparation and development, as well as those already in operation, are all eligible for the grant. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong track record or commitment to sustainability and show that their project aligns with national or regional development policies.

Learn about the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool and how to apply to the fund: hydropower.org/esg-tool.

Find out more: www.hydrosustainability.org

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2/4/2020
IHA statement on UN climate conference and Covid-19
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2 April 2020

The next United Nations climate conference (COP26), to be hosted by the UK government in November 2020, has been postponed due to the worldwide effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers have said.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA), an official observer organisation, recognises the need for this unprecedented decision, which will see the summit rescheduled to an as-yet-unconfirmed date in 2021.    

In a statement, IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich said: “Given the present global health and economic situation, the organisers of COP26 have made the right decision to postpone this year’s conference.

“While Covid-19 is our most pressing threat, with the tragic impacts on families everywhere requiring urgent action, we must not lose sight of the existential threat to the planet posed by climate change. The tireless efforts currently being deployed to beat Coronavirus show us that, in times of crisis, the seemingly impossible can quickly become possible.

“The worldwide response to Covid-19 will rely on government stimulus packages to kickstart national economies. These must be in line with the carbon reduction commitments made in the Paris Agreement. Investing in clean energy infrastructure will support workers, families and communities today, while helping to secure our planet’s future.

“Governments, business and civil society stakeholders must now consider the policy frameworks required to support the green growth economy and prioritise vital public and private investment in sustainable and renewable energy projects. This will mean considering ways to incentivise finance and reduce barriers to development, while ensuring that new projects meet internationally recognised environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance standards.

“The hydropower sector, the largest contributor to total renewable electricity generation, will continue to play its part in providing climate change solutions. Sustainable hydropower will provide affordable, clean energy and will accelerate the adoption of other renewables, while safely managing freshwater supplies and protecting communities against floods and drought.

“Now, more than ever, collaboration and dialogue are needed to advance global sustainable energy and the transformation towards a low-carbon energy future. IHA, under the mandate given to us by our members to advance sustainable hydropower, will continue working vigorously with our members and partners to deliver the ambition needed to tackle present and future threats.”

Read Eddie Rich's blog on how the hydropower sector is playing a critical role during the Covid-19 pandemic.

27/3/2020
UN World Water Development Report highlights role of hydropower
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27 March 2020

Exploring the theme of ‘Water and Climate Change’, UN Water’s annual report on World Water Day on 22 March 2020 highlighted that hydropower forms an essential part of the solution to climate change.

“Hydropower will continue playing a role in climate change mitigation and adaptation of the energy sector,” the World Water Development Report stated, acknowledging the need for low-carbon renewable energy.

The paper recognised the flexibility offered by hydropower projects in power generation, allowing for better integration of variable electricity delivered by wind and solar power into the grid.

Moreover, multipurpose hydropower reservoirs “contribute to flow regulation, flood control and availability of water for irrigation,” the report said.

To maximise their role in mitigating climate change, hydropower projects need to be developed and operated sustainably, taking into account biodiversity, river ecology and hydrology, sediment transport, and local livelihoods, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, the paper noted.

This is where the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools and associated IHA tools and guidelines have a role to play in strengthening hydropower’s economic, social and governance performance.

The Hydropower Sustainability Tools exist to ensure that hydropower projects can be built in accordance with good and best practice. These tools comprise Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP), an Assessment Protocol (HSAP) and ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG).

Welcoming the report, Eddie Rich, CEO of IHA said, “To address climate change, electricity needs to be significantly decarbonised. This has only been achieved where there has been a significant contribution from hydropower. As the World Water Development Report highlights, we don’t just need more hydropower development – it has to be environmentally and socially sustainable.”

UN Water also released a Climate Change and Water Policy Brief for World Water Day which recognised that IHA’s Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide published in 2019, “offers a methodology for identifying, assessing and managing climate risks to enhance the resilience of hydropower projects."

The GHG Reservoir (G-res) Tool, launched by IHA in 2017, allows companies, investors and consultants to report on the carbon footprint of a reservoir. Using readily available input data, the tool provides a cost-effective way to more accurately assess net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Maria Ubierna, Research & Policy Focal Point at IHA said, "We will continue to provide the necessary tools to the renewable energy sector to become ready for the challenges that climate change poses. Hydropower projects of all types and sizes can deliver services and benefit society in a climate-resilient and low-carbon way."

Read UN World Water Development Report 2020

World Water Day

19/3/2020
COVID-19 Pandemic: Update from IHA
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Message from President Roger Gill

Covid-19 will significantly impact our industry. It will hamper global supply chains, delay construction and temporarily reduce demand. Furthermore, low oil prices are back on the agenda.

We are yet to see or understand the depth or length of the crisis on hydropower. However, we must continue to focus on long-term planning and make effective use of our time during the crisis.

Covid-19 will reset our society and economy. There will be a rethink about energy systems and the pathways towards decarbonisation. There will be a rethink about our global interconnectivity and how we meet the sustainable development goals.

IHA will be ready to voice the role of sustainable hydropower in delivering a better post-Covid society.

Roger Gill, President of IHA

Message from CEO Eddie Rich

This is a challenging time for everyone – for individuals affected by the virus, for the global economy, for businesses and for the hydropower sector more generally.

Our thoughts are with those facing personal and business challenges. The world is learning a lot about itself from this pandemic, and there is clearly going to be a lot of pain over the next few months or even longer.  

Throughout this crisis, IHA will continue to support our members and partners and work to advance sustainable hydropower.

All our staff are now working from home until future notice. Travel has been cancelled for the next 30 days and the next IHA Board meeting on 13 May will be held virtually. But while our ability to organise or attend physical events is curtailed, we will remain the voice of the sustainable hydropower sector, building and sharing knowledge and delivering services digitally.

You can connect with our team as normal via email, through our website Hydropower.org, through our online community Hydropower Pro, and through our Knowledge Networks. In the coming weeks we will be launching new publications and developing and delivering new online events and training courses.

As the hydropower sector, like the rest of the energy sector, grapples with the new global reality, we want to hear from our members and partners. How have you been impacted, and what actions are you taking or do you expect to take to mitigate these impacts?

Talk to IHA and we will be your voice on the international stage.

Eddie Rich, CEO of IHA
eddie.rich@hydropower.org

19 March 2020

       

   

10/3/2020
IHA supports World Bank guide on hydropower operations and maintenance
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10 March 2020

The World Bank has published a handbook and series of case studies on hydropower operations and maintenance (O&M) to help enhance the efficiency and reliability of the worldwide hydropower fleet.

The development of the handbook and case studies was supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and its member organisations, providing real-life examples of O&M strategies in practice.

María Ubierna, IHA’s Hydropower Specialist and Research and Policy Team Focal Point, welcomed the World Bank publication and said the association was delighted to contribute. “Global decarbonisation efforts rely on the hydropower fleet continuing to provide vital generation, flexibility and storage services to electricity systems,” she said.

“Access to this essential handbook and case studies will help owners and operators to optimise and maintain their facilities to fully realise the benefits of hydropower to the grid.”    

The publication is intended to be used by asset owners, facility and utility managers, decision-makers in government, utility operators, private developers, independent power producers and financial institutions, including development banks.

Its recommendations aim to help optimise hydropower station performance while also safeguarding the natural environment and local communities. It defines basic principles and provides examples of the consequences of inadequate O&M policies, programmes and procedures.

The case studies from public utilities and private companies in Brazil, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Uruguay are structured around the strategies described in the handbook.

Pierre Lorillou, Senior Hydropower Specialist at the World Bank, said: “A lack of O&M strategies and resources often results in frequent and severe outages, which can result in high costs, losses of valuable electricity, and sometimes a threat to the sustainability of hydropower facilities. We hope that this handbook will support preparing such strategies and mobilise resources where deemed necessary.”

The handbook was developed following the World Hydropower Congress in Ethiopia in May 2017, when delegates agreed on the need for a tool to support the preparation of O&M strategies for countries with limited capacity and a challenging business environment.

The six case studies are:

  • Statkraft Energias Renovaveis, Brazil
  • Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant, Liberia
  • Kainji-Jebba Hydropower Complex, Nigeria
  • New Bong Escape Hydropower Project, Pakistan
  • Nalubaale-Kiira Hydropower Complex, Uganda
  • Salto Grande Hydropower Complex, Uruguay/Argentina

Download the Operation and Maintenance Strategies for Hydropower: Handbook for Practitioners and Decision Makers

Download the Case Studies

5/3/2020
IHA welcomes Small Hydropower Plants Association of Kyrgyzstan as affiliate member
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The International Hydropower Association is pleased to announce that the Small Hydropower Plants Association of Kyrgyzstan has joined as an affiliate member.

   

Pictured: Elvira Borombaeva

The Kyrgyz association is a non-profit organisation established in 2015 to support the development of hydropower in the Central Asian country.

Elvira Borombaeva, President of the Small Hydropower Plants Association, said: “Kyrgyzstan is the clean energy hub of Central Asia, and hydroelectric plants occupy a central place in our national energy system, generating more than 90 per cent of the country’s electricity. I am sure our IHA membership will support the development of the country’s hydropower potential, of which only 10 per cent has been developed to-date.”

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, said he was delighted to welcome the association as an affiliate member. “By joining IHA, the Small Hydropower Plants Association of Kyrgyzstan will expand opportunities for its members and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and adopt international good practices.”

Hydropower is seen as playing a major role in Central Asia’s growth strategy between 2020 to 2030. In Kyrgyzstan, the sector is expected to benefit from the CASA-1000 regional interconnection project which, once complete, will help to alleviate electricity shortages and export surplus electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Recent IHA engagement in Central Asia has included an in-depth study of the region’s modernisation needs in partnership with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). IHA has also represented the hydropower sector at events such as Energy Week Uzbekistan 2019.

In February this year, IHA launched a USD 1 million Hydropower Sustainability ESG Assessment Fund with support from the government of Switzerland. The first tranche of funding is available for projects in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan among other countries.

IHA membership is open to organisations and professionals with an interest in sustainable hydropower. Members gain access to an extensive network of the world’s most reputable hydropower sector organisations, active in more than 100 countries.

Through IHA’s online community and mobile app Hydropower Pro, members can connect, access specialist resources and join networks such its South and Central Asia region group.

Learn more about IHA membership: www.hydropower.org/join

About IHA

With members and partners active in more than 100 countries, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) is the voice of sustainable hydropower internationally.  IHA provides an open and innovative platform to share knowledge on hydropower’s role relating to energy, water and climate. By working with stakeholders around the world, IHA advances strategies to strengthen the sector’s performance.

18/2/2020
IHA launches $1m assessment fund for sustainable hydropower projects
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First call for proposals announced with April 2020 application deadline

19 February 2020 – A new sustainability fund launched today will aid hydropower project developers and operators in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to benchmark and raise their social and environmental performance.

The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Assessment Fund will award a total of 1 million Swiss Francs (USD 1.02m) to 40 or more hydropower projects between 2020 and 2024. The initiative is managed by the International Hydropower Association’s sustainability division and funded by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Successful recipients will receive a grant to part-finance the cost of commissioning an independent project assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG), a tool based on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and governed by a multi-stakeholder coalition of NGOs, governments, banks and multilateral institutions.

   

The tool enables project proponents and operators to demonstrate that they are meeting international good practice standards across 12 assessment areas including biodiversity, water quality, climate mitigation and resilience, infrastructure safety, labour conditions, indigenous peoples, resettlement, communications and consultation.

The grant will co-finance independent assessors, who are accredited by IHA and a governance council, to carry out an assessment using the HESG gap analysis tool. This involves a site visit and interviews with stakeholders, and produces a concluding report and gap management plan.

Projects under preparation and development, as well as those already in operation, are all eligible for the grant. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong track record or commitment to sustainability and show that their project aligns with national or regional development policies.

Joao Costa, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA, said: “This initiative will encourage renewable energy proponents to draw upon international good practice when planning and implementing hydropower projects. Commissioning a HESG assessment helps to guide developers and operators to address any gaps in environmental and social performance. Going through this process will ultimately demonstrate a project’s sustainability and help unlock green finance.”

Daniel Menebhi, SECO Program Manager, said: “Recognising the important role sustainable hydropower has to play in addressing climate change and enabling economic development, Switzerland supports the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and its derivatives, including the HESG gap analysis tool which is the subject of this call.

“Switzerland now funds an extensive capacity development programme in selected countries for Swiss economic development cooperation and we are pleased to co-finance HESG assessments for at least 40 promising hydropower projects over the next four years.”

The first tranche of funding of CHF 250,000 in 2020 will be made available for eligible projects in the following countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Project proposals will be accepted up until 19 April 2020.

IHA is the management body for the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, which develops and governs the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, including a set of good practice guidelines, an assessment protocol and a gap analysis tool. The council includes representatives of social, community and environmental organisations, governments, commercial and development banks and the hydropower sector. IHA is responsible for overseeing tools training and accreditation.

Learn about the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool and how to apply to the fund: hydropower.org/esg-tool.

Find out more: www.hydrosustainability.org

   

6/2/2020
Charting a course for sustainable hydropower development in Africa
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6 February 2020, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire - Senior African government representatives and leaders from the energy sector, financial institutions and civil society gathered in Abidjan today to chart a course for the sustainable development of the continent’s hydropower resources.

Read the meeting's outcomes in English and French.

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Organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Africa High-level Roundtable on Sustainable Hydropower Development looked at strategies for ensuring projects are developed in accordance with international good practice, while overcoming challenges to development and access to finance.

With close to 600 million Africans lacking access to electricity, speakers including Hon Fortune Chasi, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Energy, and Sabati Cissé, Côte d’Ivoire’s Director-General for Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energies, emphasised the social-economic and power system benefits of investing in hydroelectricity.

Africa’s existing hydropower plants deliver 36 gigawatts (GW) of installed generation capacity, but this represents only about 11 per cent of the region’s technical potential, according to IHA (Hydropower Status Report 2019).

“As a renewable energy source offering design options from run-of-river plants to pumped storage plants, hydropower in its different forms adds significant value to power systems and the reliability of energy supply,” said Wale Shonibare, the African Development Bank’s Acting Vice President for Power Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

Mr Shonibare said the AfDB is committed to supporting new hydropower projects through its New Deal on Energy for Africa and has already invested close to USD 1 billion for 1.4 GW of expected installed capacity over the past ten years.

“As the Bank’s emphasis on renewable energy sources is growing, so does its interest in hydropower. In order to achieve universal access to energy, it is not enough to bring online the amount of generation capacity required to cover energy demand, it is also essential to do this in a sustainable way that assures power system reliability,” he said.

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(Pictured: Sabati Cisse, Director General of Energy, Ivory Coast and Hon. Fortune Chasi, Minister of Energy, Zimbabwe)

In his intervention, Minister Chasi noted that Zimbabwe, where more than half of the population does not have electricity access, needs international investment and technical assistance to develop renewable energy sources including hydropower. “We consider hydropower to be essential and critical for our generation of power,” he said.

Mr Cissé noted that Africa’s hydropower plants, through increasing electricity access, contribute significantly to poverty reduction and economic growth. “Africa has enormous hydropower potential, which we will need if we want to achieve national policy priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, said it was important to create an enabling policy and regulatory environment to incentivise new projects, while ensuring that both greenfield and rehabilitation projects are built and operated in accordance with internationally recognised guidelines and assessment tools.

“The Hydropower Sustainability Tools, governed by a multi-stakeholder coalition of social and environmental NGOs, governments, banks and industry, must be embedded in decision-making on project selection, planning, financing, development and operation. These tools define good and best practice and help to assess whether a hydropower project is truly sustainable across objective social, environmental and governance performance measures,” he said.

The Africa High-level Roundtable on Sustainable Hydropower Development was organised with support from AFD, the French development agency.

View the list of speakers

Read the outcomes of the Roundtable

About the African Development Bank

The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

About IHA

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit organisation working with a network of members and partners to advance sustainable hydropower. Its mission is to build and share knowledge on hydropower’s role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. IHA is also the management body for the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and provides training and accreditation for independent project assessors.

26/1/2020
Costa Rica to host World Hydropower Congress
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11 December 2019

Costa Rica has been announced as the destination of the next World Hydropower Congress.

       

   

The World Hydropower Congress is the leading global event in sustainable hydropower development bringing together decision-makers, experts and innovators to set priorities for the sector.

The congress will be held in San José, Costa Rica, under the theme ‘Renewables working together in an interconnected world’ under the patronage of the President of Costa Rica.

The announcement was made today by Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy, Hon. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, at a launch event at the UN climate conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain.

Organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and supported by Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), the government run electricity services provider, the congress is a high-level, biennial meeting of governments, international organisations, financial institutions, research, non-governmental organisations, and industry.

Hon. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez said his government was delighted to bring the World Hydropower Congress to Costa Rica, a country which is powered by almost 100% renewable energy including around 80 per cent from hydroelectric generation.

“Costa Rica is a global leader in renewable electricity. Using hydro, wind, solar, geo and bio energy resources, Costa Rica has built a system that provides renewable electricity while ensuring social and human rights. These technologies will play a key role in the next phase of climate commitments under the UN Climate Convention. We are happy to share our experience with the region and the world, as we move away from fossil fuels and toward a net zero world by 2050,” the Minister said.

First held in Turkey in 2007, the World Hydropower Congress draws over 700 participants from more than 70 countries to agree priorities in delivering sustainable energy and water systems in the context of climate change. It represents a unique opportunity to share knowledge and insights on hydropower at the highest level.

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “With its strong commitment to hydropower and sustainable development, it’s hard to think of a better host for the 2021 World Hydropower Congress than Costa Rica. It seems fitting that they host the event that will put the focus on hydropower’s role in delivering a 100% renewable energy future in concert with other renewables.”

The last World Hydropower Congress was held in Paris, France, in May 2019, under the high patronage of President Emmanuel Macron. Delegates from 77 countries participated and the programme was organised in collaboration with some 50 partner organisations. The Report on the World Hydropower Congress is now available to download online.

Brigitte Collet, Ambassador for Climate for the Government of France, praised the commitment of Costa Rica to decarbonisation, as she formally handed over the mandate to host the World Hydropower Congress. “Costa Rica’s energy mix is truly remarkable. It is a real pleasure to hand over to your country. We believe the presidency of the World Hydropower Congress is in the best possible hands.”

Antoine Badinier from French hydropower operator EDF said his company was proud to have supported this year’s event in Paris. “The World Hydropower Congress that took place in May 2019 was a successful event for the global hydropower sector and a very special moment for EDF. On behalf of the company, I am glad to take part in this handing over ceremony to Costa Rica, and I look forward to participating in the 2021 World Hydropower Congress.”

Update July 2020: The World Hydropower Congress was originally scheduled for May 2021 but was rescheduled to September 2021 due to the impact of Covid-19    

(Brigette Collet Ambassador for Climate Government of France and Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Minister of Environment and Energy Costa Rica)

The World Hydropower Congress programme includes three main components: a core set of plenary sessions, deep-dive (parallel) sessions, networking and bilateral meetings. Key themes are:

  • energy (innovation, storage and interconnections)
  • water (multipurpose use and transboundary initiatives)
  • climate (mitigation, resilience and adaptation)
  • sustainability (tools, sector performance and standards)
  • finance and investment (project funding and risk management)

Further information about the World Hydropower Congress and how to get involved is available at hydropower.org/congress

About IHA

With members and partners active in more than 100 countries, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit network of people and organisations working to advance sustainable hydropower.

Among its objectives, IHA seeks to create an open and innovative platform to share knowledge on hydropower’s role relating to energy, water and climate. By working with stakeholders around the world, IHA also advances strategies to strengthen the sector’s performance. For example, through the co-development of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, which help to guide the sector and inform decision making.

Contact

World Hydropower Congress Secretariat
International Hydropower Association
Email: congress@hydropower.org

Media contact:

Will Henley
Head of Communications
communications@hydropower.org

26/1/2020
Building a resilient, renewable power system with innovative hydropower technology
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10 December 2019

A major new energy innovation project to demonstrate how smart hydropower technologies can deliver a low-carbon, reliable and resilient power system was launched today.

The €18 million initiative was announced by the European Commission and a consortium of 19 partners at the United Nations climate change conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain. It will show how innovative and flexible hydropower systems can help countries across the world meet their renewable energy targets.

     

   

The XFLEX HYDRO (Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility) project is a four-year initiative by leading utilities, equipment manufacturers, universities, research centres and consultancies. It will demonstrate how modern hydropower plants can provide the vital power grid services required by variable renewables such as wind and solar power.

The launch comes after a major UN Emissions Gap Report looking at ways to reduce global carbon emissions said that greater power system flexibility was “key” to integrating larger shares of variable renewable energy into the power supply.

The XFLEX HYDRO technologies to be tested are enhanced variable- and fixed-speed turbine systems, smart controls and a battery-turbine hybrid, each of which will be demonstrated at hydropower plant sites across Europe.

The project will conclude in 2023 by delivering a roadmap to increase adoption of the technologies across the hydropower fleet, with policy and market recommendations for governments, regulators and industry.

The initiative has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It aims to help the EU achieve a target of achieving 32% of energy from renewable sources by 2030.

European Commission:

Mr Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General for the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation, commented: “Combining the excellence and expertise of 19 partners from across Europe, the XFLEX HYDRO project will test innovative solutions based on renewable energy sources that will provide greater flexibility and sustainability to the energy system. The project aims to increase hydropower’s potential in terms of plant efficiency, thereby boosting electrical power systems and enabling plant and system operators to operate more successfully in electricity markets. This can make an impactful contribution to European renewable energy objectives and policies.”

EPFL:

Professor François Avellan of EPFL, the research institute and university leading the project, stated: “Across Europe countries are embracing large-scale electricity generation from renewables such as solar and wind power and shifting away from conventional fossil fuels for electricity generation. The growth in variable renewables is changing how power grids operate, with potential impacts on the stability and security on the whole power grid. This places unprecedented challenges on the hydropower sector to provide flexible and reliable services to the grid.

“The technologies demonstrated by the XFLEX HYDRO project will help hydropower to consolidate its critical role to support the integration of variable renewables into the power grid. This will ensure hydropower operators can maximise their performance and access future energy markets,” he added.

International Hydropower Association:

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), which is responsible for XFLEX HYDRO project communications, said: “We need to decarbonise the power sector, and fast, if we are to limit the devastating impacts of climate change. Last month’s UN Emissions Gap Report is a stark reminder that we need hydropower to boost the contribution of variable renewables like wind and solar. The XFLEX HYDRO initiative represents a clear commitment by the European Commission, leading organisations from the hydropower sector and academia to invest in new and innovative hydropower technologies.”

Find out more at www.xflexhydro.net

       

patrick_child_with_representatives_from_iha_edf_and_edp_-_img_3599_1200x675.jpg

 

   


Launch event speakers (left to right): Richard Taylor (Executive Adviser, IHA), Patrick Child (Deputy Director-General, EU Commission), Sara Goulartt (EDP), Antoine Badinier (EDF), with Minoru Takada (UN DESA) who hosted the launch at the UN DESA SDG pavilion at COP25.

Project partners:

       

gridoflogos_v2_1.png

 

   

EPFL - Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is one of Europe’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan science and technology institutions. EPFL is the project leader responsible for scientific supervision and developing a new smart power plant supervisor system technology through the XFLEX HYDRO project.

Alpiq - Alpiq is a leading Swiss energy services provider and electricity producer in Europe. It produces each year in Switzerland 4,200 GWh of electricity from hydropower. In the project, Alpiq leads the demonstrator at Z’Mutt, in Switzerland, which involves the renewal of Unit 5 of the pump station of Z'Mutt to test new operation modes in variable speed using a full-size frequency converter.

Andritz AT - ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH is a global supplier of electromechanical systems and services for hydropower plants. The company is a leader in the world market for hydraulic power generation. The HYDRO division is the largest business area of ANDRITZ AG headquartered in Graz, Austria. ANDRITZ AT contributes to the demonstration in the Vogelgrün power plant focusing on optimised control of the hydraulic system in combination with a battery.

Andritz CH – ANDRITZ HYDRO AG is the Swiss subsidiary of ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH in Switzerland. It contributes to the demonstration at the Vogelgrün power plant, focusing on generating a digital twin of the plant, developing a generic method for data based, real-time assessment of wear and tear and to optimise a specific predictive maintenance module for hydraulic system equipment manufacturers in combination with a battery.

ARMINES – ARMINES is a private non-profit research and technological organisation performing research contractual activities and academic research training. The project activities of ARMINES are primarily focused on implementing advanced control strategies and forecasting tools, and in the coordinated control of battery energy storage systems and hydropower plants.

CEA - CEA (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) is a French public body and the country’s largest technology research and development provider, whose role is to transfer this know-how to the industry. CEA is responsible for the battery storage system that is hybridised with the hydropower turbine in the Vogelgrün power plant.

EDF - EDF Group is the world’s leading electricity company, particularly well established in Europe. The EDF Hydro Division largely contributes to the 98% CO² free electricity in France, with a yearly average generation of 43.5TWh with its 600+ dams and 400 power plants. EDF is responsible for two demonstrations in the project: at Grand Maison and Vogelgrün power plants.

EDP CNET - EDP Centre for New Energy Technologies (EDP CNET) is a subsidiary of the EDP Group with the mission to create value through collaborative R&D in the energy sector. EDP CNET is responsible for two demonstrations within XFLEX (Alqueva and Alto Lindoso power plant in Portugal), and leads the definition of business use cases for the provision of flexibility services in the power system.

EDP P - EDP Gestão da Produção da Energia, S.A has some 1,000 workers, with an installed capacity of 10 GW, 6.7 GW of which is hydropower (approximately 2.5 GW of which with pumping capacity). As a key utility partner and major hydro operator, EDP P provides the perspective of a large-scale storage investor/owner and is responsible for the Frades 2 demonstrator in Portugal.

GE Renewable Energy - GE Renewable Energy is a $15 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, the company has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy. The hydro activity leads the development of solutions to extend flexibility services on three demonstrators: Grand Maison, Alqueva and Alto Lindoso power plants.

HES SO - HES SO is the largest university of applied sciences in Switzerland and the second largest higher education institution of the country, with more than 21,000 students and 25 schools located in 7 cantons. The hydroelectric research group of HES SO is in charge of the modelling, numerical analysis and prototype measurements in several demonstrators.

IHA - The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to advancing sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. IHA is responsible for XFLEX HYDRO project communications.

INESC TEC - INESC TEC is a private non-profit institution having as associates the University of Porto, INESC and the Polytechnic Institute of Porto. INESCTEC leads the development and population of the hydro flexibility matrix, as well as the development of system integration studies and models for the technologies and solutions to attain the enhanced flexibility range.

PVE - Power Vision Engineering is a spin-off company of the Ecole polytechnique féderale de Lausanne, EPFL, founded in 2007, providing software solutions and expertise in the field of hydropower plant transient and dynamic behaviour. PVE contributes to the modelling and simulation of hydraulic and hydroelectric systems and is a supplier of the HydroClone innovative Real-Time Simulation Monitoring (RTSM) system.

SuperGrid Institute - SuperGrid Institute is an independent research and innovation centre that works to facilitate the wide-scale integration of renewable resources into the electrical grid. The Institute is responsible for illustrating the impact of the flexible technologies and is developing a tool (Flexbot) to demonstrate their economic benefits. Its real-time hydraulic test platform will also be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of new flexible solutions.

UPC - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research, specialised in the fields of architecture, engineering and technology. UPC is responsible for the field tests and the installation of the monitoring system in the demonstrators.

USTUTT – The University of Stuttgart is composed of 10 faculties covering technical fields, natural sciences as well as social sciences with a total of 22,600 students and 3,150 researchers. USTUTT is responsible for the unsteady numerical flow field simulations to determine unsteady dynamic loads on pump-turbine components.

Voith Hydro - The Voith Group is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, the Voith Group sets standards in the markets of energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials and transport and automotive. The Group Division Hydro experts focus on the development and implementation of additional solutions to make the Frades 2 demonstrator even more efficient and to increase its performance range as well as to optimise its maintenance in order to strengthen its supportive role for the flexibility of the power system.

ZABALA - ZABALA is a Spanish SME with wide experience in supporting organisations in the management of their research, technology development and innovation activities. ZABALA participates in the definition of the business development plan for all knowledge created in the project and establishing an IPR strategy for the protection of intellectual property.

Media contact:

Will Henley
International Hydropower Association
will.henley@hydropower.org

23/1/2020
Hydropower leaders: Herbie Johnson
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As part of a series of interviews profiling leading Fellows of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), we meet Herbie Johnson, General Manager at Southern Company and former President of the National Hydropower Association (NHA).    

Herbie Johnson is General Manager at Southern Company, where he oversees 32 hydroelectric projects with a capacity of more than 2,600 MW. In September 2019 he was elected to serve on IHA’s Board, after serving two years as President of the National Hydropower Association (NHA) in the U.S. from 2017 to 2019. He continues through, his various roles, to help shape the agenda for the industry.

Herbie says one of the highlights of his career was when, in his capacity as NHA President, he had a chance to testify before the U.S. Congress about the efficiency of the licensing process. It gave him the opportunity to share ideas on how to keep the process efficient for the next hundred years.

“We work on legislation to keep the process of licencing and relicencing our hydroelectric plants, not only for Alabama Power Company [a subsidiary of Southern Company], but across the U.S., as efficient as possible, so it doesn’t impact ratepayers and our stakeholders in a negative manner,” says Herbie. The opportunity to work in Washington, D.C. and manage that process, as well as manage that organisation as the President, has been a dream come true for me.”

Having worked at Southern Company for more than 25 years, Herbie says it’s the “hundred-year plan” that he really enjoys about his job. “When I interact with our communities and our stakeholders, when I talk to our current employees or the young employee we’re going to hire, I want them to know our hydro plants are ‘forever assets’ and that we’ve got a plan for the next 100 years,” he says.

“Several of our dams are already over 100 years old. We want people to know that we’re already thinking about how we’re going to preserve these assets with sound engineering and innovation.”

   

Staff sergeant to hydrologist

Despite his success, Herbie admits he did not always envision a career in the hydropower industry. After graduating from high school, Herbie went into the military and served in the U.S. Air Force and the Alabama Air National Guard for six years. After achieving the rank of staff sergeant, Herbie sought a university education and ultimately decided on a degree in civil engineering at Auburn University.

“My father and grandfather built houses, so I always had an interest in construction,” Herbie says. “That ultimately led me to civil engineering.”

On the completion of his degree, Herbie started as a hydrologist in Alabama Power Company. “I went into the plants and learned how they operate and what it takes from a team of people to keep the plant running,” he says. “This included everything from dam safety to keeping the lights on, how to keep the water regulated, and how to make sure we meet state laws and regulations.”

Soon enough, Herbie had the chance to start managing a dam as a superintendent at Thurlow Dam in Tallassee. “From there, it just progressed. I managed other plants within our system and did some large construction projects, proving the ability to transfer my skills of civil and project management to large-scale projects,” he says. “That gave me the opportunity to come back into our hydro organisation as the General Manager and support the great team of people that keeps our hydro fleet running.”

   

Passing down “tribal” stories

He credits his mentors, Mike Akridge and Gene Allison, both ex-hydro general managers at Southern Company, as great influences throughout his career. Both helped him with knowledge transfer, lessons learned, and passed down “tribal” stories that were critical parts of the hydro industry and Southern Company. “The knowledge I gained from them are stepping stones for the leaders that will follow me,” Herbie says.

Knowledge-sharing is vital for Herbie and he feels honoured at the opportunity to serve on the IHA Board.

“The importance of IHA will continue to rise as the energy markets begin to value the robustness and flexibility of hydro resources,” Herbie says, adding that being a part of the Association offers many benefits.

“IHA members have access to tools, forums and subject matter experts that can open avenues for success as we integrate current and future hydro resources into the energy industry,” he says.

“The globalisation of the industry presents a unique set of challenges we didn’t face 20 years ago, and we need to work together to continue to have quality products that can be delivered in a timely manner to keep us competitive as a long-term asset in our energy markets of today and the future.”

Find out how to become a Fellow of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) here.

14/1/2020
Spotlight: Sarawak Energy integrating sustainability tools into business operations
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14 January 2020

Sarawak Energy has benefitted from a sustainability training programme which is helping the company achieve its vision to deliver reliable, renewable energy for the people of Sarawak, Malaysia.

   

Pictured: IHA's Sustainability team with employees of Sarawak Energy

The state-owned energy development company and power utility is responsible for electricity generation, transmission and electricity generation, providing electricity to about three million Sarawakans in both urban and rural areas.

In the last ten years, Sarawak’s generation mix has reoriented towards renewable hydropower and away from thermal fossil fuels such as gas, coal and diesel. Its large hydropower plants include the 2,400 MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) and the 944 MW Murum HEP. Under development is the 1285 MW Baleh project as well as smaller hydropower projects such as the 10MW Kota 2 project.

   

Pictured: Mohammad Irwan Aman

“Hydropower generation has an important role that provides a foundation for Sarawak’s development by providing reliable, renewable and affordable energy, while meeting environmental and economic needs,” says Mohammad Irwan Aman, the company’s Senior Manager (Sustainability).

The company is committed to implementing and operating its hydropower projects in accordance with international good practice, he says, in order to “minimise any negative impacts and maximise positive impacts”.

To build understanding among its staff on how to incorporate sustainability principles into current and future project developments, Sarawak Energy recently enlisted IHA to provide advanced training on using the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools to assess the social, environmental, technical and governance performance of its portfolio of hydropower projects.

The series of training workshops held in Kuching, Sarawak, explored how the suite of tools – including the Hydropower Sustainable Assessment Protocol (HSAP), Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG) and Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP) - can be used to enhance company practices.

Irwan says the company engaged IHA because of its ability to deliver a tailored training package. This training was divided into two categories for certified users and official accredited assessors.

“The Certified User Training was attended by our new batch of internal assessors, along with other staff who are directly or indirectly involved in hydropower development and operation, to introduce them to sustainable hydropower,” he says.

‘Training was an eye opener’  

   

Pictured: Iswandy Sureia

One of the trainees was Iswandy Sureia, a senior civil engineer for the Kota 2 Mini Hydro Project, who participated in the three-day Certified User Training. Despite nearly a decade’s experience with hydropower projects, he says the training was of great benefit to him.

“My primary role is to coordinate and control all phases of project execution and administration, cost, schedule and qualities of deliveries and changes of scope,” he says. “Based on my past experience, huge challenges and hurdles have been encountered from local stakeholders as there were no proper tools or guidelines to refer to. I believe with the tools in place in the business system and processes, all the problems can be minimised or eliminated.”

Iswandy adds the training was an “eye opener” for those directly involved in hydropower development as the Hydropower Sustainability Tools cover all aspects of a project’s life cycle.

“The tools can guide the team and the business entity in developing the hydropower project in a sustainable manner,” he says. “The team can also assess their performance against international good practice, areas for improvement and subsequently the recommended action to be taken.”

The course included 20 participants and eight observers from Sarawak Energy’s senior management.

‘Engaging and easy to understand’

   

Pictured: Dayang Zanariah

Dayang Zanariah, a civil engineer, was one of 11 participants on the Official Accredited Assessor Training, a more comprehensive course. She learned about the various ways in which the Hydropower Sustainability Tools can be applied, ranging from decision-making to capacity building.

“The training was really engaging and further reinforced my understanding, especially in the interpretation of the statements for each of the [sustainability] topics,” she says. “The training structure was developed in a way that was easy to understand.”

Since the training course was completed in July 2019, Irwan says his team has been able to identify new ways to improve and incorporate the recently gained knowledge and lessons learned into their day-to-day responsibilities.

“In-depth understanding on sustainable hydropower and its application enables Sarawak Energy to strengthen its efforts in embedding sustainable practice into the business system by introducing and implementing new processes,” he says.

Learn more about IHA’s Sustainability training programmes here.

Read a blog by Mohamad Irwan Aman and Darylynn Chung from Sarawak Energy

19/12/2019
COP25: Energy associations urge increased adoption of renewable technologies
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19 December 2019

Five global energy associations jointly urged governments to increase the take-up of renewable technologies at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain last week.

   

The representatives made the call at an official side-event held by the REN Alliance, a partnership of the International Hydropower Association, International Solar Energy Society, International Geothermal Association, World Bioenergy Association and World Wind Energy Association.

Mathis Rogner, Senior Analyst at the International Hydropower Association (IHA), represented the hydropower sector and was joined by José González, Senior Researcher at the International Solar Energy Society, Marit Brommer, Executive Director at International Geothermal Association and Remigijus Lapinskas, President of the World Bioenergy Association.

The panelists urged policy-makers to:

  • increase renewable energy penetration in the electricity grid
  • develop markets that reward power system flexibility
  • stop financing and subsidising fossil fuels
  • increase investments in renewable energy technologies.

Mr Rogner said that renewable technologies were prepared to meet global energy demand and decarbonisation goals, but the policy and regulatory frameworks need to catch up. “I would like to call on governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations and companies to come together and work upon this aspect, so renewable energy can play a greater part,” he said. It is clear that our power systems need a mix of services to ensure resilient systems, he added.

He said the hydropower sector was going to continue to grow, but its role is evolving to offering further and additional grid flexibility services to support and enable the greater integration of variable renewables, while also offering freshwater management services.

Dr Brommer agreed collaboration is key to ensure the necessary deployment of renewable energy technologies on the ground. “The geothermal sector is keen to continue to push the need for energy system transformation and is grateful for the outreach opportunities through strong and strategic partnerships provided by the REN Alliance at high-level events such as the COPs where our joint messages are amplified,” she said.

David Renne, President of the International Solar Energy Society, said that while it is unfortunate that more was not accomplished at the national and global level at COP25, the REN Alliance side-event confirms that much positive action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions is taking place at local and regional levels.

“There is no question that the need for climate change mitigation is becoming more and more urgent, and that a major solution to this urgency is to increase the rate of deployment of clean renewable energy technologies that can meet all of our end use energy needs, including power, heat, and transport,” he said.

Laura Williamson, Outreach & Communications Manager at REN21, a think-tank focused on renewable energy policy, moderated the discussion.

Find out more about IHA’s work on clean energy systems.

13/12/2019
Manage erosion and sediment sustainably with new hydropower guide
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13 December 2019

A new IHA guide will help hydropower developers and operators manage potential impacts arising from erosion and sedimentation in a river basin, allowing decision-makers to avoid business risks and act responsibly towards the environment and local communities.

The Hydropower Erosion and Sedimentation How-to Guide provides an overview of current knowledge and effective practices from across the sector in managing risks associated with erosion and sedimentation.

   

It covers potential impacts upstream and downstream of a hydropower project, sediment transport in rivers, erosion from the project site, civil and electromechanical structures, and climate change.

The guide presents methodologies and technologies related to scoping and siting, design and mitigation, and assessment and monitoring.  The guide in addition highlights how such measures can increase a project’s resilience to hydrological variability and support climate change adaptation.

IHA Sustainability Specialist, Alain Kilajian, said: “Effective erosion and sediment management is essential to sustainably develop and operate a hydropower project. This guide looks at good practices in the field and provides hydropower professionals with practical approaches to managing even the most challenging issues.”

Lead author and independent environmental and social consultant, Doug Smith, said: “Effective management of erosion and sedimentation is fundamental to hydropower’s role in a low carbon future. With its catalogue of methodologies and technologies, I hope the guide provides clarity on how to do this, where to begin, and where to find further advice and expertise.”

Download the Hydropower Erosion and Sedimentation How-to Guide

About IHA

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to sustainable hydropower. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. We achieve this through sector monitoring, advancing strategies that strengthen performance, and building an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.

Read about the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and Good Practice on Erosion and Sedimentation.

1/12/2019
Hydropower centre stage at Sustainability & Renewable Energy Forum
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1 December 2019

The inaugural Sustainability & Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF) 2019 will be held in Sarawak, Malaysia from 10-11 December 2019.

SAREF, organised by Sarawak Energy in partnership with the Sarawak Ministry of Utilities, is a thought leadership campaign focusing on sustainability and the role of renewable energy in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each subsequent conference will provide a platform for energy thought leaders to discuss sustainability and renewable energy topics in line with the SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy.

The forum will bring together international organisations, experts from the energy sector, representatives from government, research communities, private sector and policy and decision makers.

International Hydropower Association’s Chief Executive, Eddie Rich will speak on how hydropower can drive and stabilise a wider renewable energy mix and broader sustainable development. “SAREF is a key opportunity for the energy community to come together to address the challenges of both ensuring sufficient energy and ensuring that it is affordable, sustainable and clean” he says.

The forum will open with a speech by the honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, followed by a special address by Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.

Other prominent speakers will include the honourable Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Anak Utom, Minister of Utilities, Sarawak, Sharbini Suhaili, Chief Executive of Sarawak Energy, and Tammy Chu, Managing Director, Entura among several others.

The conference will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Sarawak. To register, please visit www.saref2019.com.

   

5/11/2019
New hydropower benefit sharing guide for developers and operators
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28 October 2019

A new IHA how-to guide for hydropower developers and operators aims to increase understanding of benefit sharing in project development and operation.

The How-to Guide on Hydropower Benefit Sharing will help decision-makers identify and deliver socio-economic benefits to communities, while assisting companies to avoid business risks and improve project viability.

       

   

João Costa, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA, said: “Hydropower projects are developed to provide electricity and other essential services such as water supply or flood control. But they do more than that.  Sustainable projects can provide important benefits for nearby communities, including economic infrastructure, electricity subsidies and local employment.

“This how-to guide will help industry professionals understand benefit sharing in hydropower and gain insights into the strategies and approaches towards achieving good international industry practice."

The publication provides an overview of current knowledge on benefit sharing across the hydropower sector, looking at beneficiaries and types of benefits, including those related to project siting and design, monetary and non-monetary, regulatory and voluntary, benefits, as well as governance and monitoring methodologies.

The guide aims to support developers and operators in meeting good practice, as defined by the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools. It outlines a range of strategies to share benefits related to financial mechanisms, capacity-building, training and employment, procurement, social services, economic infrastructure, electrification and subsidies, and reservoir use.

Writing in the guide, lead author Joerg Hartmann concludes by recommending a partnership approach to benefit sharing. “Communities need to be empowered to take responsibility for their own development,” he said.

“A partnership approach depends on communities being treated as equals and with respect by projects and by government, and is a precondition for good community relations.”

Download the Hydropower Benefit Sharing How-to Guide for free from our IHA publications library: www.hydropower.org/publications

About IHA

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to sustainable hydropower. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. We achieve this through sector monitoring, advancing strategies that strengthen performance, and building an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.

Read about the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and Project Benefits.

31/10/2019
In conversation: Eddie Rich and Roger Gill
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4th November 2019

Hydropower should stay “front and centre in the global debate as to how renewable energy can affect the low carbon future,” agreed International Hydropower Association (IHA)’s President, Roger Gill, and Chief Executive Officer, Eddie Rich, in an introduction video after taking on their new respective roles.

“IHA needs to retain its capacity to be a strong advocate for the role hydropower can play as the world transitions to a new renewable energy future,” said Gill.

He added that hydropower could play a supporting role to wind and solar power. “Undoubtedly, that is going to help us establish a renewable energy framework that will enable climate change to be addressed,” Gill said.

Over the next few months, Rich and Gill said their goal would be to connect and engage with as many of IHA’s members as possible.

       

   

18/9/2019
New IHA leadership team takes the helm
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18 September 2019

IHA's leadership team took its place this week, with newly elected President Roger Gill joining Chief Executive Eddie Rich.

Mr Rich, who took over from Richard Taylor on 9 September, presented to IHA's new Board the organisation’s strategy for the next two years. This will see IHA focus on research and policy, sustainability and sharing knowledge on the role of hydropower in the clean energy transition.

   

IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich (left) with newly elected IHA President Roger Gill (right)

Mr Rich said: “With the demand for energy expected to double from 2015 to 2060, the world must look towards a sustainable, renewable mix of energy sources. IHA’s role is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions.

During the Board meeting at Brookfield Renewable's office in London, the Board unanimously elected Roger Gill, an international consultant with over 40 years in the renewable energy sector, as President. He takes over from Ken Adams.

“IHA has steadily grown to become a platform of knowledge, with members operating in over 100 countries around the world. Our challenge is now to reach beyond the sector to help all stakeholders understand how hydropower can support the renewable energy systems of the twenty-first century,” Mr Gill said.

A long standing Board member and Vice President of IHA, Mr Gill is a company director for Pacific Hydro, a renewable energy development company owned by State Power Investment Corporation of China (SPIC).

Both Mr Gill and Mr Rich paid tribute to their predecessors. “I owe an enormous debt to Richard Taylor, the CEO of IHA who founded the organisation in 1995,” said Mr Rich. “He has brought us so far with unparalleled passion, knowledge and skill. I look forward to working with him to ensure a strong and smooth transition.”

“In addition, over the past six years Ken Adams has steadied the ship and provided a clear vision. We will miss his wisdom, experience and passion for the organisation and subject.”

Six IHA Vice Presidents were also elected by the Board:

  • Tammy Chu, Managing Director, Entura, Hydro Tasmania
  • Colin Clark, Chief Technical Officer, Brookfield Renewable
  • Gil  Maranhão Neto, Chief Strategy, Communications and CSR Officer, ENGIE Brasil
  • Óli Sveinsson, Executive Vice President Research and Development, Landsvirkjun
  • Christine Cantin, Senior Advisor, Relations Outside Québec, Hydro-Québec
  • Uwe Wehnhardt, President and CEO, Voith Hydro

   

IHA's new Board for 2019-2021

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to advancing sustainable hydropower. The association supports the sharing of good practices and champions continuous improvement across the hydropower sector. Find out more: hydropower.org/our-vision

6/9/2019
Costa Rica's national electricity company joins IHA
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6 September 2019

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s national electricity company, has joined the International Hydropower Association (IHA) as a gold member.

The company promotes and strengthens a model based on sustainability and universal access to electricity, together with the use of natural resources in complete environmental harmony.

Irene Cañas Díaz, President of ICE, stated: “Being part of such a prestigious organisation as IHA is a significant step for the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, bringing us closer to the highest standards in sustainability, as we are committed to maintain and foster our renewable energy mix, which relies foremost in hydropower."

   

ICE exclusively manages the country’s electricity system, achieving 99.4 per cent national electricity coverage. It bases its generation on five main renewable sources of energy, in order of size: water, geothermal, wind, biomass and sun.

ICE won the IHA Blue Planet Prize for excellence in sustainable hydropower at the World Hydropower Congress held in Paris in May 2019 for its Reventazón hydropower project.

Reventazón is the largest hydropower plant in Central America with 305.5 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. Since it came into operation in 2016, the project led Costa Rica to achieve a target of generating 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

IHA’s Chief Executive officer, Richard Taylor, welcomed ICE as the newest member of the association. “We are delighted that the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has joined as a gold member. We look forward to working together to exchange experiences and advance strategies that support sustainable hydropower project planning, development and operations,” he said.

Besides Reventazón, ICE’s other hydropower projects include the 134 MW Pirrís hydroelectric plant and the 180 MW Corobici hydroelectric plant.

Costa Rica receives around 80 per cent of its energy from hydroelectricity.

IHA membership is open to organisations and professionals with an interest in sustainable hydropower. Members gain access to an extensive network of the world’s most reputable hydropower sector organisations, active in more than 100 countries.

Members can connect with each other, join specialist networks and access resources through Hydropower Pro, IHA’s exclusive online community and mobile app.

Learn more about IHA membership: www.hydropower.org/join

7/8/2019
India's Teesta-V hydro station an example of international good practice
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7 August 2019

The Teesta-V hydropower station, in Sikkim in northern India, has been rated as an example of international good practice in hydropower sustainability, according to an independent report.

The 510 MW power station, owned and operated by NHPC Limited, was reviewed by a team of accredited assessors using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. Their report, which looked at the project’s operation, has now been published and is available to view online.    

The assessment, the first of its kind in India, was conducted between January and June 2019 and involved two visits to the project area, with stakeholder interviews from 4-13 March.

According to the report, Teesta-V met or exceeded international good practice across all 20 performance criteria. It met proven best practice on its management of asset reliability and efficiency, financial viability, project benefits, cultural heritage, public health, and erosion and sedimentation.

Teesta-V is also the first hydropower project globally to publish results against new performance criteria covering its resilience to climate change and mitigation of carbon emissions, after the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) was expanded in scope in 2018.

Teesta-V is part of a cascade of hydropower projects along the Teesta River. It was built to supply power to Sikkim’s Energy & Power Department and other state-owned distribution companies in India’s eastern region, and commissioned in 2008 as the first large-scale power station in Sikkim.

The report documents how NHPC, formerly known as the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, managed impacts on local communities and the environment, and how the project has provided “significant” benefits, including providing low-cost electricity and employment.

“Over the first ten years of operations, NHPC has expanded its activities along the Teesta River and made significant efforts to mitigate its social and environmental impacts, to create socio-economic benefits, and to communicate and cooperate with local communities,” the report said.

In a statement, NHPC Limited said: “Our company operates with a mission to achieve excellence in the development of clean power at international standards. Following this mission and vision in letter and spirit, NHPC sought a hydropower sustainability assessment of the Teesta-V Power Station using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

“It is the first such assessment in India which itself proves the commitment of NHPC towards the sustainable development of hydropower. It is heartening to see that the Teesta-V Power Station has not only met basic good practices on all the parameters but it has also met global best practices on six performance areas. The results of this assessment will help NHPC to improve its business processes wherever required and to emulate best performance in its other projects.”

Dr Joerg Hartmann, lead assessor, said: “This assessment helped NHPC identify strengths as well as weaknesses in the Teesta-V project. These lessons can now be applied across the company’s entire project portfolio, and because NHPC chose to be transparent with the results, across the entire Indian hydropower sector. In fact, some of the best practices identified in the assessment – such as conducting a follow-up Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ten years after project commissioning, to verify initial predictions of impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation measures – should be considered by project owners everywhere.”

About HSAP

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is the leading international tool for measuring the sustainability of hydropower projects, having been applied in more than 25 countries. It offers a way to benchmark the performance of a hydropower project against a comprehensive range of environmental, social, technical and governance criteria.

Assessments are based on objective evidence and the results are presented in a standardised report. The HSAP is one of two complementary assessment tools - including the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG) - used to measure performance against a set of Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP).

These tools are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, which is composed of representatives of social and environmental non-profit organisations, governments, commercial and development banks, and the hydropower sector.

Assessors are trained and accredited by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), which serves as the council’s management body.

Download the report at: www.hydrosustainability.org

24/7/2019
Water and energy network aims to transform commitments into action
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24 July 2019

Government and business leaders should redouble efforts to address climate change and deliver sustainable development, say the organisers of a new global water and energy network.

“It is time to transform commitments into concrete actions,” said José Alberto Alderete, Paraguayan General Director of Itaipu Binacional, co-convenor of the new Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership.

“Climate change challenges governments, businesses and civil society to work together to build a future of sustainable development for all.”    

Itaipu Binacional, whose hydropower plant is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy, has joined forces with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to establish the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership.

The partnership, which is supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), aims to lead global advocacy on the role of water and energy in achieving the SDGs, and to build the capacity of institutions by sharing knowledge about good practices.

In New York on 15 July 2019, the partnership convened a special event with the Government of Spain on ‘scaling up climate action through integrated water and energy solutions’ to coincide with the annual UN High-level Political Forum.

During the event, IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor presented the outcomes of the World Hydropower Congress, which saw participating organisations commit to support the clean energy transition, manage climate risks and champion good practice in hydropower development.

Participants heard that almost 1 billion people globally still do not have access to electricity, while 2.1 billion are without safely managed water services.    

Mr Taylor, who sits on the partnership’s steering committee, said: “It is great to see the importance of Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions being taken to the highest levels. I believe this is fundamental for the realisation of most, if not all, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Mr Alderete, who was joined in New York by his Brazilian counterpart, Joaquim Silva e Luna, renewed Itaipu Binacional's commitment to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Water and energy are key elements of national agendas, where the private sector and governments need to work together in order to achieve the SDGs,” added Mr Alderete. “Itaipu Binacional is an example that a harmonious coexistence between the environment and technology is possible.”

Mr Silva e Luna said: “Itaipu´s great concern to deal in a sustainable manner with all the issues directly related to the company´s activities has much to contribute in the international agenda.”

Manuel Menéndez, Water General Director for Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, highlighted the contribution of hydropower, especially pumped storage, to the energy transition. “Pumped storage is essential to achieve in Spain the target of 70 per cent renewables by 2030,” he said.

“Water and energy is life, water and energy is progress and is key for the transformation needed to fulfil all SDGs,” added Cristina Gallach, Spain’s High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda.

This year’s United Nations High-level Political Forum, convened under the theme of ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’, sees governments undertake the first global review of SDG 13 on climate action.

To follow the activities of the Sustainable Water & Energy Solutions Partnership on Twitter visit: #WaterEnergySolutions

Find out more.

17/7/2019
IHA appoints Eddie Rich as new CEO
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17 July 2019

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has appointed Eddie Rich as its new Chief Executive Officer, following a global recruitment search led by the association’s board, it was announced today.

The former Deputy Head of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has worked extensively in international development. He has a long track record of achieving transformational change through delivering ground-breaking, multi-stakeholder partnerships with industry, government and civil society.

   

Mr Rich will take up his appointment on 9 September 2019. He succeeds Richard M Taylor who is stepping down to work as an independent consultant and who will support the new CEO in a consultative capacity through 2020.

In a statement, IHA President Ken Adams said: “Mr Rich will bring to the role extensive international experience, most recently as a founder and senior executive of the EITI. IHA welcomes Mr Rich and looks forward to working with him as the hydropower sector helps to contribute solutions to the energy transition challenges faced by the world today.”

Mr Rich said: “There is need for a bigger and better contribution to green energy from hydropower. IHA is the key organisation to make sure that the industry is well informed about good practices, has the capacity to implement them, and the world benefits from the best use of this precious technology. IHA's work on building and sharing high quality and evidence-based knowledge is critically important.”

“Much has been done. There is much to do. I look forward to taking this forward with an excellent team. I pay tribute to Richard Taylor who has brought us so far with unparalleled passion, knowledge and skill. I look forward to working with him to ensure a strong and smooth transition.”

Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Mr Taylor stated: “It has been a tremendous privilege to represent the International Hydropower Association. The hydropower sector has changed significantly in the last two decades, and IHA has done its best to support this. Handing over to Eddie Rich gives the association a new impetus. He brings an impressive set of skills and international experience. I look forward to working closely with him in this exciting transition.”

   

Eddie Rich's biography

IHA’s incoming CEO, Eddie Rich, has worked on the role of corporates in international development for over 20 years. He has been Deputy Head of the EITI since the international secretariat was established in 2007, including a period as its Executive Director. His responsibilities have included leading on EITI implementation globally and overseeing the organisation’s finance, human resources and communications functions, as well as the organisation of its triennial global conference. He has also published books and articles on governance entrepreneurship and multi-stakeholder governance.

His prior experience includes working as the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID)’s representative to Angola and deputy head in Kenya, and as head of DFID's corporate social responsibility team. He has degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Westminster.

12/7/2019
IHA announces results of 2019 board elections
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12 July 2019

Eighteen hydropower sector leaders from around the world have been elected to the board of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), it was announced today.

The new board will begin its two-year mandate in September 2019, and will guide IHA’s work and priorities for the period.    

The results of the IHA board elections were announced on 12 July after voting closed at midnight on 10 July. Candidates competed in each of the world’s six regions, and those elected are listed below.

IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “These distinguished individuals bring a tremendous wealth of experience from across the sector and offer diverse perspectives on hydropower activities worldwide. I would like to congratulate our board members, especially those elected for the first time.

“Through the board, our members and our partners, IHA is committed to advance sustainable hydropower. Our programmes build and share knowledge on hydropower’s role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions.”

According to IHA's statutes, a maximum of six candidates may be elected from any one region, and no more than three candidates from the same country.

Once the board is constituted in September 2019, it will select the President of IHA and up to six Vice Presidents from among its members.

The 2019 Board election results are:

North and Central America

  • Ms Christine CANTIN - Senior Advisor, Relations Outside Québec, Hydro-Québec
  • Mr Colin CLARK - Chief Technical Officer, Brookfield Renewable
  • Mr Herbie JOHNSON - General Manager, Hydro Southern Company

South America

  • Mr Gil MARANHÃO NETO - Chief Strategy, Communications and CSR Officer, ENGIE Brasil
  • Mr José Maria SÁNCHEZ TILLERÍA - Technical Director, Itaipu Binacional

Europe

  • Mr Tron ENGEBRETHSEN - Senior Vice President, International Hydro, Statkraft AS
  • Mr Thibault DESCLÉE DE MAREDSOUS - Chief Marketing Officer, GE Renewable Energy
  • Mr Frédéric HOFMANN - Vice-President in charge of Development, EDF Hydro, EDF
  • Dr Óli Grétar Blöndal SVEINSSON - Executive Vice President Research and Development, Landsvirkjun
  • Mr Uwe WEHNHARDT, President and CEO of Voith Hydro, Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG

Africa

  • Mr Anton-Louis OLIVIER - CEO, Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Mr Moisés MACHAVA - Executive Director, Hidroelétrica De Cahora Bassa

South and Central Asia

  • Mr Evgeniy TIKHONOV - Strategy and Development Director, EuroSibEnergo JSC

East and Pacific Asia

  • Mr Roger GILL - Non-Executive Director, Pacific Hydro
  • Mr Sharbini SUHAILI - Group Chief Executive Officer, Sarawak Energy Berhad
  • Ms Tammy CHU - Managing Director, Entura, Hydro Tasmania
  • Dr WU Shiyong - Deputy General Manager, Yalong River Hydropower Development Company Ltd
  • Mr ZHANG Dingming - Executive Vice President, China Three Gorges Corporation

Find out more about IHA's work programmes in the IHA Activity and Strategy Report.

       

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12/7/2019
IHA training on reservoir GHG emissions at HydroVision International
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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) will deliver training for hydropower professionals seeking to assess and report reservoir greenhouse gas emissions, at HydroVision International.    

The three-day interactive training course from 21-23 July is designed to allow professionals and researchers with a basic knowledge of geographic information systems and reservoir GHG dynamics to use the internationally recognised G-res Tool and accurately interpret the results.

IHA Senior Analyst Mathis Rogner said: "The greenhouse gas emissions of reservoirs should be considered in the planning and design of new infrastructure.

"The G-res Tool consolidates the most recent research in the field and builds on the principles agreed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the estimation of net reservoir emissions.

"Reporting on reservoir emissions will become mandatory, and the G-res Tool offers a relatively simple process to give reservoir stakeholders confidence in the carbon footprint of their reservoir.”

The training course will be coordinated and led by Sara Mercier-Blais, Research Associate for the UNESCO Chair in Global Environmental Change, based at L'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Ms Mercier-Blais said: “Getting numbers from the G-res Tool is quite easy, but making sure that those are accurate is the real task. The G-res Tool training we provide allows the participant to critically analyse the results obtained and understand their real meaning.”

The course includes a scientific introduction and step-by-step tutorial on using the G-res Tool, as well as training on case scenarios and results analysis. When the course is finished, participants will be accredited as certified G-res Tool users.

HydroVision International in Portland, Oregon, USA, from 23-25 July, is expected to attract more than 3,000 attendees from about 50 countries, as well as about 350 exhibiting companies. The event features over 60 educational sessions, as well as many co-located workshops, organisational meetings and other activities.

Conference delegates can learn more about the G-res Tool during a Knowledge Hub - Technology Horizon session on Wednesday 24 July 24 from 12pm-13pm, and can meet the G-res Tool team in the Exhibition hall in booth #3039.

To contact the team and book a place on the training course, please contact: ghg@hydropower.org

Find out more:
g-res.hydropower.org/training

11/6/2019
Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program accepting new applications
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The Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program is now accepting new applications for 2019-2020.

The initiative aims to help women in the hydropower industry to connect, generate new friendships, and share experiences in a supportive environment.

It is supported by the U.S. National Hydropower Association (NHA), Northwest Hydroelectric Association (NWHA), Midwest Hydro Users Group (MHUG), WaterPower Canada, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and HydroVision International.    

First launched in 2017, the Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program aims to create a meaningful connection where the mentor and mentee become collaborators in each other’s success.

The mentor brings her life experience and a willingness to listen, give counsel, and provide network connections that support the mentee. The mentee brings her growth and development goals, opportunities and challenges, with a willingness to openly discuss them.

A volunteer steering committee matches the applicants into traditional or reciprocal mentorship pairs. Each mentorship pair is unique and adapts to a relationship style and meeting format that works best for them, meeting once a month for eight months, October to May.

Applications are being accepted until 1 August, with pairs to be announced in early September.

If you would like to apply, complete the application form and send it to womeninhydropower@gmail.com.

Steering Committee Members:

Nora Rosemore – Minnesota Power, Dawn Presler – Snohomish PUD, Amanda Blank – Alliant Energy, Kelly Schaeffer – Kleinschmidt, Kelly Maloney – Brookfield Renewable, Kristina Newhouse – Avista Utilities, Rita Hayen – TRC, Jacqueline Mongrut – Hydro-Quebec, and Stephanie Hun – SNC Lavalin.  

IHA is commited to promoting the role and contribution of women in the energy sector, particularly in the transition to a low carbon future. In June 2018, the association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) aimed at promoting mentoring, networking and coaching opportunities to encourage the increased participation of women in decision-making positions.

29/5/2019
Meet the candidates standing for election to IHA's Board
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29 May 2019

Twenty-one candidates are standing for election to the International Hydropower Association's Board for the 2019-2021 period.

The successful candidates will shape and direct IHA's work for the next two years, commencing in September 2019. A total of 18 places are available in the election.    

Voting is open from 29 May until 10 July. Statements from each of the candidates are available in a candidate profile booklet available for download here.

IHA's membership - individual members and primary representatives of corporate members - are eligible to vote in the elections.

The results of the election will be announced on 12 July.

The IHA Board elections are held every two years. The current IHA Board was elected in July 2017 and is serving a term covering the period from September 2017 to September 2019. The Board meets three times a year.

Find out more: hydropower.org/iha-board-elections

Download ballot papers:

Ballot form for a primary representative of an IHA corporate member.

Ballot form for an individual IHA member.

17/5/2019
World Hydropower Congress concludes with clean energy and climate pledges
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17 May 2019

Commitments underpin the renewable energy transition, manage climate risks and champion good practice

The seventh World Hydropower Congress concluded in Paris this week with 750 delegates from 70 countries participating. Partner organisations announced a range of initiatives to ensure hydropower projects and assets can bring maximum benefits when delivered sustainably.


The congress, 14-16 May, brought together heads of organisations, senior executives and representatives from multiple sectors, including industry, the United Nations, government, civil society including indigenous community representatives, financial institutions including all multilateral development banks, and experts from academia.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA), which convened the biennial event along with 50 partner organisations, pledged to continue its work to advance sustainable hydropower and share solutions which support the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the closing session on 16 May, Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said the association would continue to build and share knowledge on clean energy systems, responsibly managed freshwater, and climate change solutions. “Every hydropower project is an ambassador for the whole sector. There is no hiding place for bad practice or projects that are deemed to be a loss to society or the planet,” he said.

Mr Taylor announced that IHA would pursue new initiatives to help the sector bring forward solutions to enhance hydropower’s flexibility and deliver clean, efficient storage for integrated electricity grids, involving a mix of hydropower, solar and wind power and other renewables.

In addition, Mr Taylor made a commitment for IHA to work closely with the UN, civil society, business, governments and investors to achieve a common understanding of good practice for hydropower projects affecting protected areas, and when working with indigenous communities.

The Global Network of Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions, an initiative started by Itaipu Binacional and UNDESA, and now supported by IHA and a growing community of governmental and non-governmental entities, had its inaugural meeting during the Congress. The network aims to show how the water-energy nexus can be managed sustainably, especially to find climate solutions. Within the wide spectrum of the nexus, “hydropower projects can be of great value in the fight against climate change”, said Jose Maria Sanchez, Paraguayan Technical Director of Itaipu Binacional.    

“Today Itaipu Binacional reiterates its commitment to our partners, IHA and UNDESA, to continue working together to achieve the goals proposed in both the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Mr Sanchez added.

A joint statement led by The Nature Conservancy, WWF and other non-governmental organisations was also announced on the closing day. “Hydropower can help balance power systems and facilitate the integration of a higher share of wind and solar generation – both through reoperation of existing hydropower and through strategically designed new projects, including pumped storage, that avoid the significant tradeoffs associated with past development,” states the declaration, which promotes collaboration to deliver low cost, low impact and low carbon energy.

The World Hydropower Congress saw organisations reflect on ways to overcome a variety of challenges, covering project financing and development, operations, maintenance and modernisation. A major new European initiative on technology to enhance hydropower flexibility was discussed - IHA and many of its members are to be involved, with the project led by EPFL.

Regional commitments included the Inter-American Development Bank working with IHA on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools to build capacity in Latin America.

More than 200 speakers exchanged experiences and examples of good practice at the World Hydropower Congress across 40 focus sessions and workshops.

Reflecting on a challenging year for the Ituango hydropower project in Colombia, EPM CEO Jorge Lodoño said: “The opportunity to share our experience with so many players in the World Hydropower Congress has been extremely valuable to us. The key to overcoming the gigantic challenges that EPM has faced since the incidents at Ituango has been transparency and our company’s willingness to engage and discuss all the issues. This has galvanised broad-based support, which is much appreciated."    

On 15 May, the World Hydropower Congress saw the launch of a new IHA Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide to help projects become more resilient to climate change. It was developed with technical and financial support provided by the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Both institutions committed to continue to work with IHA in helping the sector utilise the guide.

IHA noted requests to establish knowledge-building and sharing initiatives around hydropower safety, pumped storage technology, policy and markets, and emerging hybrid technologies such as floating solar at hydropower projects; ESMAP and IHA announced plans to further studies on the global potential of this technology.

At the World Hydropower Congress awards ceremony, Costa Rica’s Reventazon project was recognised as the recipient of the 2019 IHA Blue Planet Prize for sustainable hydropower development. Two other prizes - the IHA Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower and IHA Young Researcher Award - were also announced.

The 2019 Hydropower Status Report was launched by IHA on 13 May, showing electricity generation from hydropower achieved a record estimated 4,200 TWh in 2018, as worldwide installed hydropower capacity climbed to 1,292 GW.

Find out more about the World Hydropower Congress: www.hydropower.org/congress

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16/5/2019
Winners of 2019 IHA Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower announced
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16 May 2020

The prestigious 2019 IHA Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower was jointly awarded to three leading members of the hydropower community, at an awards ceremony at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris on 15 May.

The award went to: Karin Seelos, Statkraft Vice President (Power Generation and International Affairs); Refaat Abdel Malek, Former President of IHA and Vice Chairman of MWH Global; and Yan Zhiyong, Chairman of Power Construction Corporation of China.    

Karin Seelos was recognised by the judging panel for her long-standing commitment to hydropower sustainability, which has had a major impact on the profession. Her work, including on an IHA White Paper on Hydropower and Sustainable Development, helped form the foundation for sector-wide sustainability guidelines and assessment tools. This helped catalyse a revolution of policy and thinking in the sector.

On receiving her award, Ms Seelos said “I am very grateful and deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award and would like to thank the IHA Board for this recognition. I was lucky to gain experience from some of the world’s leading hydropower utilities, Hydro-Québec in French Canada, and Statkraft in Norway."

Ms Seelos reflected on the “tremendous journey” that the hydropower sector has undergone in the past two decades since IHA was established. Hydropower is now considered a “key resource to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change”, she said.

“I hope the sector will continue its collaborative journey, focusing on gaining and sharing knowledge as an important part of the renewables family. Being part of the solution will be key to our success.”

Refaat Abdel Malek was President of IHA between 2007 and 2013, during which time he contributed to the development of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. Under his leadership, IHA led outreach to civil society organisations and governmental agencies supporting development around the world. He contributed actively to the participation of Latin American and Chinese organisations in international forums and to sharing knowledge in an inclusive way.

Mr Malek said: “I am grateful for the IHA for the excellent recognition through the IHA Mosonyi Award. The highlight of my career is to be a part of the IHA effort, together with other colleagues and organisations, to achieve the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. This is an achievement that returned the development of hydropower to the forefront of sustainable energy around the world.”

Yan Zhiyong was recognised for his contribution to the development of China’s hydropower industry and for his commitment to implement sustainability practices. With a philosophy of ‘people oriented green development’, he has organised and participated in formulating renewable energy development master plans for around 100 countries. He started as a designer in hydropower planning, then became the President of the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute before he was Chairman of Power Construction Corporation of China.

Named after the renowned engineer Prof Dr Emil Mosonyi, IHA’s founding President, the award is for one or more of the following:

  • a long-standing commitment or initiative that has had a major impact on the profession;
  • a specific hydropower project, the performance of an organisation or the hydropower sector in general; or
  • an aspect of hydropower sustainability (technical, economic, social or environmental) or a broad-ranging initiative, such as national-level or basin-level strategic planning.

The winners receive lifetime honorary membership with IHA and guest registration to the 2019 World Hydropower Congress.

The Mosonyi award was one of three presented at the 2019 World Hydropower Congress, along with the IHA Blue Planet Prize and the IHA Young Researcher Award.  

16/5/2019
IHA Young Researcher Award goes to rising stars from ETH Zurich and Wuhan University
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The 2019 IHA Young Researcher Award has been jointly awarded to two rising stars from universities in Switzerland and China, at an awards ceremony at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris.

Martina Botter, a PhD student at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and Weijia Yang, a Research Associate Professor at Wuhan University, were recognised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) for their research studies.    

Ms Botter’s research provides a decision support system to test new hydropower operation strategies to adapt to a changing climate and economic context. The framework has the capability of accounting for the uncertainty which characterises the operating context, so that multiple different scenarios can be considered at the same time and robust adaptation strategies can be identified.

On receiving her award, Ms Botter said: “I am honoured to have received this prize. It means motivation to me, motivation to continue investigating in the field of climate resilience, adaptation strategies and a multi-objective approach in the decision making process of hydropower planning and management. I am very glad to see the relevance these topics have in this World Hydropower Congress, since they represent the main challenges for the future of hydropower."

Mr Weijia Yang, who works at Wuhan University’s State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, submitted research offering an assessment framework of burden on hydropower units for short-term balancing of renewable power systems. His paper looks at the burden, performance and payment of hydropower regulation under various conditions and future scenarios, leading to potential benefits for hydropower producers and transmission system operators.

Two finalists were also recognised at the awards ceremony: Sebastián Leguizamón, a PhD student from EPF Lausanne, and Chantel Monica Niebuhr, a PhD student from the University of Pretoria. The ceremony took place at Pavillon d’Armenonville in the city of Paris.

The IHA Young Researcher Award is open to young engineers and scientists aged under 30 and is made every two years at the World Hydropower Congress.

Entrants are invited to submit a short article summarising their work (no more than 1,500 words). The subject must be relevant to at least one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming World Hydropower Congress.

The winner will receive a year’s individual membership with IHA and free registration to the World Hydropower Congress, where they present their research.

IHA’s Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The IHA Young Researcher Award provides an opportunity for young innovators to share their research with key representatives from the hydropower sector, government, financial and academic institutions and civil society. It is a rare chance to bring specialist research findings to the attention of policy-makers from around the world.”

The award was first presented at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing, China, where it was won by Sami Khan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his work on hydrophobic rare-earth oxide coatings and their potential application in hydropower systems.

It was awarded again at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The recipients were Alexandros Korkovelos of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sara Mercier-Blais of the University of Quebec in Montreal and Rafael Schmitt of UC Berkeley.

www.hydropower.org/iha-young-researcher-award

15/5/2019
Costa Rica’s Reventazón hydropower plant awarded IHA Blue Planet Prize
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The 2019 IHA Blue Planet Prize, which recognises excellence in sustainable hydropower development, has been awarded to the Reventazón Hydropower Plant in Costa Rica.

Reventazón is the largest hydropower project in Central America with 305.5 megawatts of installed capacity. Since it came into operation in 2016, the project has led Costa Rica to achieve a target of generating 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.    

Irene Cañas Díaz received the IHA Blue Planet Prize from IHA President Ken Adams

IHA President Ken Adams presents IHA Blue Planet Prize to Irene Cañas Díaz, President of ICE

The IHA Blue Planet Prize is given to a hydropower project which demonstrates excellence across a range of social, environmental, technical and economic performance criteria. A judging panel awards the prize on the basis of an independent project assessment made using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, an internationally recognised performance measurement tool.

The prize announcement was made at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris at an awards ceremony held on 15 May 2019. The recipient is the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s national electricity company, which built, owns and operates Reventazón.

The project achieved proven best practice for its management of communications and consultation, resettlement, public health, biodiversity and invasive species, and waste, noise and air quality, according to an assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), said: “The winner of the 2019 IHA Blue Planet Prize, Reventazón, demonstrated remarkable sustainability performance across a range of performance criteria, meeting or exceeding international good practice in all 19 assessment topics. The hydropower project is a worthy recipient of the IHA Blue Planet Prize and is an example of many stakeholders working together to achieve a common goal.”

The hydropower plant is located on the Reventazón river in Limón province, 50 kilometres upstream of the Caribbean Sea. It was constructed between 2010 and 2016 and financed from a range of national and international organisations, including the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.

On receiving the award, Irene Cañas Díaz, President of ICE, stated: “We are grateful to the International Hydropower Association in awarding the IHA Blue Planet Prize to the Reventazón project. This proves what 70 years of acquired expertise by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad can do, developing sustainable hydropower projects that comply with the best practices in the world”.

IHA Blue Planet Prize - Irene Cañas Díaz, President, ICE  

Video of IHA Blue Planet Prize - Irene Cañas Díaz, President, IC

The judges commended the project team for identifying opportunities to improve social and environmental management, developing educational processes for associated stakeholders, and implementing measures to compensate and mitigate impacts on aquatic habitats and endangered species.

Reventazón is one of the first hydroelectric projects in Latin America to use a river offset approach, in order to develop hydropower potential while avoiding development in other free-flowing rivers. It shows how hydropower projects can make a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation at regional and basin levels.

The assessment was conducted by a team of independent accredited assessors using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, with financial and technical support from the World Bank Group. This involved 90 interviews with relevant stakeholders and a review of over 470 related project documents.

Ruth Tiffer Sotomayor, Senior Environmental Specialist at the World Bank, who led the team that applied the assessment protocol in Reventazón commented: “We are happy to have supported Costa Rica in the first application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in the Central America region.  We hope this award can motivate other countries and companies across regions to follow the best international practices that the protocol recognises for reducing impacts on people and the environment.

“This is an important award for ICE, its staff and Costa Rica, and an excellent example from the public sector of a small Latin American country to the world that we can do better hydropower, which is more inclusive and environmentally sensitive,” she added.

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol was developed through 30 months of cross-sector engagement between 2007 and 2010, and is aligned with World Bank Safeguard Policies and the IFC Performance Standards.

More information about Reventazón and its assessment is available on www.hydrosustainability.org.    

About IHA

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to sustainable hydropower. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. We achieve this through sector monitoring, advancing strategies that strengthen performance, and building an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.

IHA is a champion of good practices and continuous improvement in the hydropower community. We support project assessments, and training for independent assessors as the management body for the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, comprising:
•    The Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice
•    The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol
•    The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool

Learn more: www.hydropower.org

IHA Blue Planet Prize

For a hydropower project to be considered for the IHA Blue Planet Prize, it must have undergone an official assessment under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. Applications are judged by a panel composed of experts selected by the IHA Board. The prize was awarded to seven projects between 2001 and 2017:

  • Blanda hydropower project, Iceland (2017)
  • Andhikhola hydel and rural electrification scheme, Nepal (2005)
  • Arrow Lakes power plant, Canada (2005)
  • Sechelt Creek power plant, Canada (2005)
  • Salto Caxias project, Brazil (2003)
  • Palmiet pumped storage scheme, South Africa (2003)
  • King River hydropower development, Tasmania, Australia (2001)

Media Contact

Will Henley
Head of Communications
International Hydropower Association
t:  +44 7507 661 755
e:  will.henley@hydropower.org

15/5/2019
New guide to help hydropower build resilience to climate change
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15 May 2019

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has today launched technical guidance to help the hydropower industry to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide will support investors, owners and developers to make informed decisions about how to plan, build, upgrade and operate hydropower systems in the face of increasingly variable climatic and hydrological conditions.

Launched at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris on 15 May 2019, the guide introduces an innovative methodology for assessing climate risks and identifying corresponding climate resilience measures.    

Departing from traditional approaches that rely on historical information about past climatic and hydrological conditions, the guide provides a practical framework for assessing the projected impacts of climate change on hydropower systems. This includes guidance for selecting appropriate measures and operational procedures that build climate resilience across a range of scenarios, and for the development of a climate risk management plan.

Announcing the new guide, IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The hydropower sector is part of the solution to climate change, providing clean, renewable electricity and vital freshwater management to help communities manage the impacts of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

“While providing essential adaptation services, hydropower facilities are not immune to the changing climate. This guide offers new international good practice guidance to help project operators and developers identify, assess and manage climate risks to enhance the resilience of proposed and existing hydropower projects.”

The guide was developed by IHA with technical and financial support provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group (WBG) and its Korea Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF).

It is intended for hydropower projects of all types, scales and geographies, and suitable for upgrade and greenfield projects. The six-phase methodology looks at climate risk screening, data analysis, climate stress testing, climate risk management, and monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

“Greater investment in hydropower is needed as part of the transition towards low-carbon and climate-resilient energy systems” said Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments at the EBRD. “This guide will play an important role in helping financial institutions to scale up both the quantity and the quality of their investment in climate-resilient hydropower.”

“The World Bank Group welcomes the international hydropower industry’s Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide,” said Pravin Karki, Global Lead Hydropower and Dams at WBG. “Climate risks, if not adequately addressed in planning and operations, could drastically undermine hydropower investments. There is an urgent need to actively prepare for the resiliency of hydropower assets in the face of increased frequency of extreme weather events and rapid changes in hydrological patterns to reduce the risk of climate-related disruptions.”

“The World Bank Group works to ensure that its hydropower and other energy investments are adapted to climate change, and create financial mechanisms to encourage upfront investments in resilient hydropower infrastructure,” he continued.

To download the Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide, visit: hydropower.org/climateresilienceguide

Notes for Editors:

The IHA Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide was developed over a three-year period in consultation with major hydropower developers, owners and operators, intergovernmental and not-for-profit organisations, international consultancies and independent experts.

Throughout 2018 and early 2019, several hydropower projects tested the draft guide and provided feedback on its applicability. Projects involved in the testing were: Drin River Hydropower Cascade, Albania; Jirau Hydropower Plant, Brazil; Kabeli A Hydroelectric Project, Nepal; Mpatamanga Hydropower Project, Malawi; Nenskra Hydropower Project, Georgia; Romaine Hydropower Complex, Canada; and Qairokkum Hydropower Plant, Tajikistan.

Learn more about the International Hydropower Association's climate resilience knowledge building programme.

For further information, please contact María Ubierna, IHA Hydropower Specialist and Knowledge Building Team Focal Point (mu@hydropower.org)

About IHA

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to sustainable hydropower. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. We achieve this through sector monitoring, advancing strategies that strengthen performance, and building an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.

The World Hydropower Congress, 14-16 May 2019, has brought together representatives of industry, government, finance, civil society and academia from more than 70 countries to set priorities for the hydropower sector. Under the theme ‘The Power of Water in a Sustainable, Interconnected World’, the congress explores hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. For highlights from the first two days of the congress, visit: www.hydropower.org/congress

Media Contact

Will Henley
Head of Communications
International Hydropower Association
t:  +44 7507 661 755
e:  will.henley@hydropower.org

15/5/2019
Delegates share perspectives at 2019 World Hydropower Congress
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The 2019 World Hydropower Congress opened in Paris on Tuesday with delegates sharing perspectives on the role of hydropower in helping countries achieve national priorities and bringing social, economic and environmental benefits to communities.

In his speech at the opening plenary, IHA President Ken Adams welcomed the 750 participants and partners from more than 70 countries that are taking part in this year’s event, which is organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA).    

“Joining us in Paris at this seventh World Hydropower Congress are more than 50 partners from all parts of the world representing civil society organisations, international organisations, science, finance, business, academia and government,” said Mr Adams.

The theme of the 2019 congress is ‘The Power of Water in a Sustainable, Interconnected World’ which focuses on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Adams stressed the importance of collaboration between the hydropower sector and wider communities and highlighted IHA’s work to champion sustainable practices. “The spirit of IHA has always been to engage in dialogue with stakeholders from different countries, sectors and backgrounds. We believe that stronger outcomes are ensured when objectives are shared and dialogue is open.

“The largest community which we are all a part of is the human community, living on a planet facing unprecedented stress and having to build consensus and achieve action to build a more sustainable future. We support the Sustainable Development Goals and believe the targets set by the Paris Agreement require us all to work harder to ensure that renewable energy can be provided to all in a sustainable way,” he said.

Maria Donoso, Director of Water Sciences at UNESCO, said her organisation was proud to be associated with the World Hydropower Congress as one of the co-convenors.

“This an opportunity to showcase the critical contribution of hydropower in addressing sustainable development challenges,” she said. “To reach Article 2 of the Paris Agreement there is a need to reduce emissions, notably by limiting the production of energy from coal sources and by embracing renewable sources of energy such as hydropower.

“Hydropower infrastructure also has a key role to play in adaptation. It provides water services, including water supply, irrigation, navigation, flood control, drought mitigation, and energy security, and facilitates regional cooperation,” she said.

Riccardo Puliti, the World Bank Group’s Head of Energy and Extractive Resources Global Practice, said his organisation backs the sustainable development of hydropower. “We are supportive for three main reasons: we believe that hydropower is key to reaching the Paris Agreement, we view hydropower as essential for increasing the integration of renewable energy into the world’s power systems, and we support hydropower’s role in improving regional integrated water resource management.”

Despite its promise, globally, investment in the renewable sector has slowed, warned Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA plans to dedicate its next renewable energy report to hydropower, he said.

“Hydropower - why are we so keen? Because of its potential, especially in Africa,” said Dr Birol. “Today in Sub-Saharan Africa two out of three people have no access to electricity. Morally, it is a shame for all of us.

“We think hydropower can provide a lot of benefits to our societies, ranging from electricity access in emerging economies, reduction of CO2 emissions, reduction of air pollution, and we can nicely integrate it with solar and wind,” he added.

The opening session of the World Hydropower Congress on 14 May 2019 also saw speeches from representatives of business and non-profit organisations, and ministers and senior officials from Guatemala, India, Nepal, Norway, Sarawak (Malaysia) and the United States.

The importance of ensuring that energy and economic development goals are balanced with social and environmental priorities, including protecting biodiversity, was a message which echoed through the interventions.

Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of EDF, said his organisation had adopted six Corporate Social Responsibility Goals which echo the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including a goal for the company to have a positive effect on biodiversity.

Mr Levy noted the flexibility and storage capabilities of renewable, rechargeable hydropower. “Hydropower is today the most efficient technology to store significant energy quantities, especially pumped storage plants (PSP). This is why PSPs are a key part of our so-called EDF Storage Plan which aims at developing 10 GW of energy storage capacity worldwide by 2035, among which 2 GW will be fulfilled by PSPs,” he said.

Earlier this year the Indian government approved measures to promote hydropower development including declaring large hydro projects as renewable. Joint Secretary of Power Shri Aniruddha Kumar told delegates that “hydropower undoubtedly has a major role to play” in achieving renewable targets, as he restated his government’s commitment to a rigorous approvals process for new projects.

“We do not want to push development at the cost of the environment or the people. Projects are only going to be approved for construction after rigorous environmental impact studies and implementation of detailed environment management plans,” he said.

Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary General for UNDESA, said: “The potential of hydropower in its contribution to both the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development is huge, however the development of hydropower does not come without potential environmental and social costs. So it is critical that hydropower developments take measures to maximise benefits and compensate for any costs.”

Mr Harris pointed to the example of Itaipu Binacional, which operates the Itaipu power plant, as an example of good practice in this endeavour. “The experience of Itaipu Binacional shows how it is possible to promote the conservation of biodiversity and local cultures while at the same time harnessing the power of hydropower resources for energy, economic development and climate action.”

The opening plenary concluded with an intervention from renewable energy cultural ambassador and former Eurovision singer Ruslana who spoke about her efforts to widen public awareness of the goal of achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity generation.

The World Hydropower Congress continues on Wednesday 15 May and Thursday 16 May with more than 200 speakers addressing 40 focused sessions and workshops on topics such as sustainability, climate resilience, data solutions, working with indigenous communities, and supporting growth in other renewables.

View and download photos from our Flickr website: www.flickr.com/photos/hydropower

Find out more online: www.hydropower.org/congress

12/5/2019
IHA releases 2019 Hydropower Status Report charting growth in renewable hydro
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13 May 2019

More than 21.8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable hydroelectric capacity was put into operation last year, according to the 2019 Hydropower Status Report which is published today on the eve of the World Hydropower Congress in Paris.    

Government ministers from Canada, Indonesia, Nepal, Uganda and Uruguay contribute policy interventions to the sixth edition of the Hydropower Status Report, each emphasising the need for investment in renewable energy, and especially hydropower, to help countries achieve sustainable development.

Electricity generation from hydropower projects achieved a record estimated 4,200 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2018, the highest ever contribution from a renewable energy source, as worldwide installed hydropower capacity climbed to 1,292 GW.

China added the most capacity with the installation of 8,540 megawatts, followed by Brazil (3,866 MW), Pakistan (2,487 MW), Turkey (1,085 MW), Angola (668 MW), Tajikistan (605 MW), Ecuador (556 MW), India (535 MW), Norway (419 MW) and Canada (401 MW).

Brazil has now become the second largest producer of hydroelectricity by installed capacity, reaching 104.1 GW in 2018, surpassing the United States at 102.7 GW. The world's largest hydropower producer is China with 352.3 GW of installed capacity.

The Hydropower Status Report, published by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), is an authoritative guide to key trends in hydropower development. Compiled by IHA’s team of analysts, the report presents latest capacity and generation data from more than 200 countries and territories.

The report also features policy insights from leading government ministers responsible for hydropower development:

  • Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, writes about industry efforts to build partnerships with indigenous communities and create long-term economic opportunities.
  • Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning, Bambang P. Soemantri Brodjonegoro, explains how his country is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 29 per cent by 2030 through developing hydropower and other renewables.
  • Nepal’s Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsha Man Pun, writes that his government is aiming to attract foreign investment in hydropower while exploring regional energy interconnections.
  • Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Minerals, Irene Nafuna Muloni, emphasises the need to raise investment capital for hydropower development as a way to widen electricity access and support socio-economic transformation.
  • Uruguay’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Guillermo Moncecchi, reports on the strong complementarity between hydropower and other variable renewable energy sources.

The 2019 edition of the Hydropower Status Report presents research into the multiple services provided by hydropower, the importance of building resilience to climate change, and the role of digitalisation and regional interconnections in bringing efficiencies to clean energy generation.    

With pumped hydropower storage capacity reaching 160.3 GW in 2018 (up 1.9 GW on 2017), the report also calls for the market framework and regulatory treatment of this clean ‘water battery’ technology to be reformed, especially in liberalised markets.

In total, at least 48 countries worldwide added hydropower capacity in 2018. The report shows that East Asia and the Pacific once again added the most capacity, with 9.2 GW installed last year. This was followed by South America (4.9 GW), South and Central Asia (4.0 GW), Europe (2.2 GW), Africa (1.0 GW) and North and Central America (0.6 GW).    

“Four years on since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed at the United Nations in 2015, governments increasingly recognise hydropower as playing a vital role in national strategies for delivering affordable and clean electricity, managing freshwater, combatting climate change and improving livelihoods,” write IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor and IHA President Ken Adams in the foreword to the report.

The Hydropower Status Report is released ahead of the World Hydropower Congress in Paris, 14-16 May 2019, which draws more than 700 delegates from over 70 countries to the French capital. The high-level event is organised by IHA in collaboration with more than 40 partner organisations.

The event will bring together a broad spectrum of delegates interested in hydropower development, including leaders from business, government, civil society, social and environmental NGOs, local communities, the United Nations, financial institutions and academia.

Download the 2019 Hydropower Status Report: www.hydropower.org/status2019

Learn more about the World Hydropower Congress: www.hydropower.org/congress

8/5/2019
World Hydropower Congress 2019 opens in Paris next week
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Climate and sustainable development top the agenda as high-level speakers are announced

8 May 2019

The 2019 World Hydropower Congress opens in Paris next week, drawing more than 700 delegates from over 70 countries to the French capital.

The high-level event is organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) in collaboration with more than 40 partner organisations, with support from the Government of France and President Emmanuel Macron.    

Between 14-16 May 2019 the event will bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders interested in hydropower development, including leaders from business, government, civil society, social and environmental NGOs, local communities, the United Nations, financial institutions and academia.

Announcing the line-up of speakers for the opening session, IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said this year’s congress is themed around hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The congress provides a platform for sharing experiences and showcasing examples of best practice, while also guiding policies and strategies to strengthen the sector’s performance.

Mr Taylor said: “Four years ago, this city hosted the United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) at which the historic Paris Agreement was forged by world leaders to limit global emissions. This year, the hydropower community takes the opportunity to further its contribution to this agreement.

“The event will be an opportunity to discuss the hydropower sector’s vital role in meeting global carbon reduction targets, building a clean energy future and ensuring responsible freshwater management.”

More than 200 speakers will address 40 focused sessions and workshops on topics such as sustainability, climate resilience, innovative data solutions and hydropower working with other renewables.

The line-up of speakers that will address the opening plenary session on 14 May include:

International organisations

  • Ken Adams – President, International Hydropower Association
  • Elliot Harris – Assistant Secretary General, UNDESA
  • Fatih Birol – Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • Riccardo Puliti – Head of the Energy and Extractive Resources Global Practice, World Bank Group
  • Giulio Boccaletti – Chief Strategy Officer, The Nature Conservancy
  • HE Amani Abou-Zeid – Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission

Business

  • Jean-Bernard Lévy – CEO, EDF Group
  • José Alberto Alderete – Director General (Paraguay), Itaipu Binacional
  • Irene Cañas Díaz – CEO, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
  • Jorge Londoño De La Cuesta – CEO, EPM
  • Pascal Radue – President and CEO, Hydro Solutions, GE Renewable Energy
  • Lin Chuxue – Executive Vice-President, China Three Gorges

Governments

  • Hon. Luis Chang – Minister of Energy & Mines, Guatemala
  • Hon. Barsha Man Pun – Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Nepal
  • Y.B. Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Utom – Minister of Utilities (Sarawak), Malaysia
  • Shri Aniruddha Kumar – Joint Secretary of Power, India
  • Daniel Simmons – Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy, USA
  • Øivind Johansen – Director, Ministry of Energy, Norway

Renewable energy

  • Rana Adib – Executive Secretary, REN21
  • Stefan Gsaenger – Secretary General, WWEA
  • Ruslana Lyzhychko – ReNewDay Ambassador

The World Hydropower Congress is sponsored by strategic partners CTG, EDF, GE, Itaipu Binacional, The Nature Conservancy and Sarawak Energy, and supporting partners Alpiq, CSHE, EDP, Voith and Statkraft.

View the programme of 37 sessions and see an A-Z of the speakers online: www.hydropower.org/congress  

Recognising that business, finance, government and civil society must be more creative, more effective and work more closely together to deliver on the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, the organisers are encouraging all delegates and stakeholders to submit their priorities for the hydropower sector via the website: congress.hydropower.org/priorities

Quotes from participants:

"This congress in Paris is a fantastic opportunity to meet all the major international hydro players gathered to talk about the role of hydropower in the energy transition and in the preservation of water resources. I wish all participants a very successful congress.” - Jean Levy, CEO, EDF

“The Nature Conservancy participates in the World Hydropower Congress because it is an agenda-setting event, convening the decision-makers and facilitating the discussions critical to the successful energy transition that we are working towards.” – Giulio Boccaletti, Chief Strategy Officer, The Nature Conservancy

“The World Hydropower Congress brings together a unique network of hydropower operators from all over the globe. This creates an unparalleled opportunity to bring together leading hydropower practitioners, and to address emerging challenges and opportunities across the hydropower industry – including those driven by climate change.” - Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments, EBRD

“The 2019 World Hydropower Congress is a valuable opportunity to share experiences and promote the benefits of interconnections in developing regions of the world.” - Leslie Chai, General Manager of System Planning, Sarawak Energy

“Hydropower will continue to be an essential part of the energy matrix of the future. I am looking forward to hearing lessons about digitalisation, benefit sharing, safety, and other aspects that will make projects more attractive and sustainable in the long run.” - Luiz Gabriel Azevedo, Division Chief, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Division, IDB Invest

Learn more about the event and read more quotes from participants: congress.hydropower.org/2019-paris

12/4/2019
IHA begins the search for next chief executive
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12 April 2019

The International Hydropower Association has begun the search to identify its next Chief Executive Officer.    

IHA's current CEO Richard Taylor

IHA’s current CEO, Richard M Taylor, has announced his intention to step down and to work as an independent consultant by the end of 2019.

In a letter to members, IHA President Ken Adams praised Richard Taylor’s contribution to the growth and development of the association since it was formed in 1995, stating that “The Board, on behalf of all members, thanks him for his amazing contribution to the association and the hydropower sector”.

Richard Taylor will continue his responsibilities until a successor is identified. He is also expected to assist the new CEO in a consultative capacity through 2020.

The company Spencer Stuart International has been appointed to lead the recruitment process, which is overseen by the IHA Board through its governance and finance committee.

Read the job advertisement for information on how to apply: https://www.hydropower.org/chief-executive-officer

4/4/2019
IHA publishes activity and strategy report for 2018-2019
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4 April 2019

The International Hydropower Association’s Activity and Strategy Report for 2018-2019 is now available online.

The publication provides an overview of IHA’s mission and activities to advance sustainable hydropower, sharing highlights from its knowledge building and sustainability programmes over the past year.

The report previews the World Hydropower Congress taking place in Paris, 14-16 May 2019, which will bring together leading decision-makers, innovators and experts from industry, government, finance, civil society and academia.

“The city which four years ago hosted the historic climate accord which bears its name will this year give the stage to the hydropower sector,” write IHA President Ken Adams and IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor in the report’s foreword.

“The outcomes of the World Hydropower Congress will help to shape our association’s priorities and work programmes.”

The Activity and Strategy Report 2018-2019 looks at IHA’s recent work to advance policies and strategies which strengthen the sector’s performance and deliver value to members.

In 2018, IHA and its partners published new sustainability tools and guidelines which provide a framework for understanding and measuring hydropower project performance. In addition, IHA launched Hydropower Pro, a new online community for members.

The report includes IHA’s membership directory and recognises the first group of IHA Fellows, a new tier of membership comprising the sector’s most experienced professionals.

“Working collaboratively with our members and partners, IHA will continue its mission to build and transfer knowledge on hydropower’s role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions,” write Mr Adams and Mr Taylor.

Read the Activity and Strategy Report to learn about our knowledge building and sustainability programmes.

Knowledge building programmes:

  • The status of hydropower: monitoring the sector
  • Clean energy systems: highlighting the expansion of hydropower’s role
  • Climate mitigation: assessing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Climate resilience: developing a guide
  • Green bonds: unlocking the market
  • Hydropower benefits: better reporting
  • Hydropower preparation facility: a model for sustainable projects
  • Modernisation: building knowledge on innovation
  • Operations and maintenance: advancing innovative strategies
  • Regional interconnections: connecting hydropower
  • River basin development: promoting collaboration
  • Sediment management: identifying good practices

Sustainability programmes

  • Supporting a suite of Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools
  • Building sustainable hydropower capacity around the world
  • Hydropower sustainability assessor training opportunities

IHA members can access the report in Hydropower Pro: download now.

Non-members can access the report at hydropower.org.

For more information about Hydropower Pro, please visit hydropower.org/pro.

21/3/2019
World Hydropower Congress: last chance to register at early bird rate
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21 March 2019

The early bird registration rate for the World Hydropower Congress closes on Friday 22 March.

The world’s most important gathering of hydropower decision-makers, innovators and experts is in Paris from 14-16 May, bringing together representatives of industry, government, finance, civil society and academia.    

Knowledge sharing, capacity building and stakeholder dialogue are at the heart of this high-level biennial event, which is organised by the International Hydropower Association and supported by a range of partner organisations.

The World Hydropower Congress provides an unparalleled opportunity to share experiences, guide policies and develop strategies to strengthen the sector’s performance and support sustainable development.

This year’s event will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, under the theme ‘The Power of Water in a Sustainable, Interconnected World’.

The venue is Espace Grande Arche, situated at the foot of the monumental Grande Arche, an architectural icon of modern Paris, representing a ‘doorway to the world’.

Hundreds of leading decision-makers, innovators and experts from more than 70 countries will be in attendance. Across 37 invaluable focus sessions and workshops, participation will provide an opportunity to take on new learnings, strengthen networks and build enduring partnerships for the future.

Delegates will share knowledge on how hydropower can be financed, developed and operated sustainably, as they learn from success stories and experiences from across the sector.

Three prestigious awards will be announced during the Congress: the IHA Blue Planet Prize for a sustainable hydropower project, the IHA Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower and the IHA Young Researcher Award.

Participants can also join a tour of hydropower projects in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal or Switzerland between 17-18 May. All tour places must be booked by 5 April.

IHA hosted the first world congress in Turkey in 2007, followed by Iceland in 2009, Brazil in 2011, Malaysia in 2013, China in 2015, and Ethiopia in 2017.

The last World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2017 drew 700 delegates from more than 60 countries.

Learn more and register today: hydropower.org/congress

21/3/2019
Stand for election to IHA’s Board
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21 March 2019

IHA members can now stand for election to the association’s Board.

Nominations are open for the IHA Board elections, which will take place between May and July 2019.    

The elections will decide who among the membership will oversee IHA’s work in the 2019-2021 period.

To be eligible, election candidates must be either an individual member or employed by a corporate member.

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

How to stand as a candidate

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

The schedule for the 2019 elections is as follows:

  • 26 April: Closing date for candidate nominations
  • 15 May: Presentation of candidates at the IHA General Meeting            
  • 29 May: Voting opens (ballot forms are distributed to members)
  • 10 July: Voting closes
  • 12 July: Election results are announced
  • 18 September: First meeting of the new Board

You can read IHA’s 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, Chancery House, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, London, SM1 1JB, UK.

14/3/2019
IHA and World Bank promote sustainable hydro in Zambezi basin
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14 March 2019

Africa’s fourth largest river basin, the Zambezi, offers vast hydropower resources that can support sustainable economic development and prosperity across southern Africa.

The river basin’s technical potential of nearly 15,000 megawatts in installed hydropower capacity could prove sufficient to meet the estimated combined electricity demand of Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – known as the Riparian States.    

The Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme in Mozambique.

Using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) as a guiding reference, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the World Bank partnered with government agencies and local organisations to assist the Riparian States in developing and utilising the basin’s hydropower resource in a sustainable and responsible way.

The 2018 assistance programme consisted of a series of assisted self-assessments using the HSAP across the river basin followed by an ‘operation stage’ official assessment of the existing Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme in Mozambique.

Participants from a range of operators and water resources managers, including Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa, the Zambezi River Authority and ZESCO, learned how to apply the principles enshrined within the HSAP to their own hydropower projects.

João Costa, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA, said: “The application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in the Zambezi River Basin provided regional stakeholders with the necessary information to effectively promote, manage and deliver sustainable hydropower and ensure the long-term viability of project benefits.”

Following the completion of the programme, the World Bank published a report titled ‘Application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in the Zambezi River Basin’ in January 2019. The report provides an overview of the capacity building programme and summarises the results and lessons learned.

In its conclusion, the report notes: “The [Hydropower Sustainability Assessment] Protocol is a useful mechanism to foster cooperation and knowledge sharing among hydropower developers and operators, enhance transparency in the dissemination of information on sustainability performance and promote the sustainability of projects through assessments.”

Kimberly Lyon, Water Resources Management Analyst at the World Bank and co-author of the report, commented: “This work demonstrates the usefulness of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in a range of customised applications and shows that it has value for our clients seeking to elevate the way hydropower projects are developed as part of a process of continuous improvement.”

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol was launched in 2010 and offers a framework for assessing hydropower projects against a comprehensive range of social, environmental, technical and economic criteria.

The HSAP is one of three Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools, along with the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice and the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool, available to the hydropower sector to promote sustainability and measure performance in project planning, development and implementation.

Find out more online: hydropower.org/sustainability

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools will be presented to delegates at a focus workshop prior to the World Hydropower Congress in Paris, 14-16 May 2019, in association with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Organised by IHA, the high-level biennial event will bring together industry, government, finance, civil society and academia to set priorities for the future of the sector. To register to attend, please visit the event website.

1/3/2019
Hydropower Europe initiative launches online consultation
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1 March 2019

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE forum has launched an online consultation for stakeholders from the hydropower sector, policy-makers, civil society and academia.    

The initiative, which is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, aims to gather inputs from the hydropower community to define a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and a Technology Roadmap for Europe.

The agenda and roadmap will aim to guide funding authorities, in particular the European Commission, to prioritise support where it is most needed, to assist the hydropower sector to adapt to the constantly evolving energy system.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is part of the multi-partner consortium that created the HYDROPOWER EUROPE forum.

Consultation events will take place over the next two years. This consultation process aims to involve all interested stakeholders to ensure that views are taken into account in developing the way forward for the European hydropower community.  

All stakeholders who would like to contribute to this process can register their details along with some initial feedback, through the HYDROPOWER EUROPE Consultation Platform: https://consultation.hydropower-europe.eu/hydropower-europe-consultation-programme/

Stakeholders are encouraged to register before 6 March, so their initial feedback can be included in the first round of stakeholder analysis.

A wider consultation process will be undertaken during the following 24 months through various online consultation events combined with a series of regional workshops, including meetings in Lullea (Sweden), Lausanne (Switzerland), Crete (Greece) and Brussels.

Read more: hydropower.org/hydropower-europe

19/2/2019
IHA launches Hydropower Pro, the online community and app for hydro professionals
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19 February 2019

A new online community and mobile app launched by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will connect the worldwide hydropower community and serve as a platform for sharing good practices.

Hydropower Pro is designed to support hydropower professionals from Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific to exchange experiences and collaborate with one another. The platform is available as a website – hydropower.org/pro – and as a mobile app for Apple iPhone and Google Android devices.      

Exclusively available to members of IHA, Hydropower Pro gives users access to more than 20 online groups focused on specialist topics, along with access to essential and exclusive downloadable resources.

It is home to IHA’s 11 knowledge networks covering topics such as asset management, finance and investment, river basin development, regional interconnections, communications, clean energy systems, climate mitigation, climate resilience and sediment management.

Hydropower Pro provides a hive of news and information from IHA’s team of analysts. Users can discover opportunities, discuss new trends and common challenges, and stay updated with instant and weekly email alerts.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA said: “The launch of Hydropower Pro represents a new era for the International Hydropower Association in terms of the service we provide to our members. It supports our strategic objective to build a vibrant, inclusive and proactive hydropower community and create an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.”

Will Henley, Head of Communications at IHA, said: “This project recognised that the hydropower sector was in need of an effective digital platform for individuals to connect and collaborate with one another. Whether you are an engineer, a managing director, a sustainability consultant or an academic, Hydropower Pro is for you. It will help you to expand your professional network and build your understanding of good practices across a range of topics.”

Hydropower Pro is available to IHA individual members and corporate representatives from member organisations. Existing members can request an invitation to join Hydropower Pro by contacting communications@hydropower.org. If you would like to learn more about membership, please contact IHA’s Membership Team: www.hydropower.org/contact-us

Testimonials:

“Hydropower Pro is a rich source of knowledge for the international hydropower community. It provides up-to-date, authoritative coverage of a broad range of news, events, issues and facts for the sector. In Hydropower Pro members will find a wealth of material of relevance to their businesses or regions, and an outstanding platform for the sharing of information” - Colin Clark, Chief Technical Officer for Brookfield Renewable and IHA Vice President.

“Hydropower Pro offers a new link into the extensive world of hydropower. It helps me stay updated with the latest issues and events and network in my areas of interest. IHA’s team have done a great job bringing this tool to life.” - Roger Gill, independent hydropower consultant and IHA Vice President.

“Hydropower Pro has made my life easier as a board member of IHA. I can easily in one place access all material published by IHA, board documents, member information and participate in discussion groups.” – Dr Óli Sveinsson, Executive Vice president of Research and Development at Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland.

15/2/2019
Hydropower projects test draft climate resilience guide
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15 February 2019

Hydropower developers and operators are piloting a draft guide for the sector designed to help projects assess potential risks associated with climate change, including alterations to hydrological patterns.

The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide, set to be published in 2019, is being developed by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) with technical and financial support from the World Bank Group (WBG) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).    

Denis Aelbrecht, Head of EDF’s Hydro Engineering Technology Group and member of the expert advisory panel, and Cristina Diez Santos, IHA analyst.

The guide will assist hydropower companies to consider and manage climate-related risks in project design and operations, addressing the demand from industry, investors, policy-makers and communities for international guidance on good practice in this area.

At a recent technical workshop in London, representatives from hydropower operators and developers that have piloted the draft (beta version) of the guide shared their experience and feedback on its practicality to assess climate risks and its suitability to inform design options and resilience measures.

“The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide will deliver pragmatic and accessible guidance for the hydropower sector, which is so important as a source of renewable, clean energy,” said Patrick Ray, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, USA, who is a member of the expert advisory panel formed by IHA to develop the guide.

“It will draw from cutting-edge climate science, acting as a bridge between the scientific and engineering community.”

The workshop for more than 40 participants marked the final stage of consultation ahead of the guide’s expected launch at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris in May 2019.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “As a low carbon and cost-effective technology, hydropower produces almost two-thirds of the world’s renewable electricity generation and is making a significant contribution to delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Hydropower projects need to manage climate risks associated with their dependency on runoff and so this guide responds to the demand from owners, operators, investors and governments for clear and practical guidance for risk mitigation. The aim of this testing phase is to ensure the guide is meaningful, credible and applicable,” Mr Taylor added.

Albania’s state-owned hydropower operator KESH is one of the organisations to have piloted the guide, leading to its recent adoption of a climate risk management plan. The plan was adopted as part of a loan agreement with the EBRD and lists a range of structural and non-structural adaptation measures.

“Building know-how in the field of climate resilient hydropower operation is an essential element of our strategy to sustain and further develop our position as a leading electricity generator in the Western Balkan region,” said KESH CEO Agron Hetoja, announcing the climate risk management plan in December 2018.

The workshop was held at the London headquarters of EBRD on 30 January 2019. Following the workshop, the project’s advisory expert panel will use the feedback received to finalise the guide for publication.

“We see financing hydropower as being indispensable to the clean energy transition, but we really must think about a project’s resilience to the impacts of a changing climate when investing in the sector,” said Dr Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments at EBRD. “This workshop is a very important step in creating replicable, well-understood guidance based on experiences of good practice from industry,” he added.

Pravin Karki, the World Bank’s Global Lead for Hydropower and Dams, who also participated, added: “The World Bank is pleased to support the IHA initiative to develop an industry guide for climate change resilience.”

Denis Aelbrecht, Head of EDF’s Hydro Engineering Technology Group, said: “I am sincerely grateful to IHA, EBRD and the World Bank for creating this opportunity to bridge advanced science about climate and climate change resilience together with industrial and engineering practice. The outcomes of the workshop must lead to flexible, understandable, and useful guidance which will be well accepted and recognised by the profession thanks to its practical approach”.

The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide will be presented to delegates at the World Hydropower Congress at a workshop on 14 May 2019 co-convened by EBRD, the World Bank and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund and a climate resilience focus session on 15 May co-convened by EBRD. Participants will learn how the guide supports resilient investments and the steps required to complete a climate risk management plan. To register to attend, please visit the Congress website.

For more information, IHA members can join our Climate Resilience Knowledge Network which brings together professionals to exchange good practices in hydropower development and operation. To become a member, visit: hydropower.org/join

15/2/2019
Reward excellence in hydropower by casting a 2019 Mosonyi award nomination
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15 February 2019

Nominations are now open for the International Hydropower Association’s prestigious Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower.

The award recognises individuals for their outstanding contributions to the hydropower sector and will be presented at the World Hydropower Congress between 14 and 16 May 2019, in Paris, France.

Named after the renowned engineer Prof Dr Emil Mosonyi, IHA’s founding President, the award is for one or more of the following:

  • a long-standing commitment or initiative that has had a major impact on the profession;
  • a specific hydropower project, the performance of an organisation or the hydropower sector in general; or
  • an aspect of hydropower sustainability (technical, economic, social or environmental) or a broad-ranging initiative, such as national-level or basin-level strategic planning.

The winner will receive lifetime honorary membership with IHA and guest registration to the 2019 Congress.    

Eduard Wojcynski of Manitoba Hydro and Anton-Louis Olivier of Renewable Energy Holdings, two of the winners of the Mosonyi award at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “The Mosonyi award recognises those who have made a profound contribution to hydropower. The World Hydropower Congress provides an unparalleled stage on which to showcase their achievements.”

Nominations can be made by anyone within IHA’s membership. The deadline for nominations is 10 March 2019. Up to three individuals can receive the award.

The 2017 Mosonyi award was presented jointly to Anton-Louis Olivier (South Africa), Kuang Shangfu (China) and Eduard Wojcynski (Canada).

At the 2019 World Hydropower Congress senior executives from more than 70 countries will share knowledge on a range of hydropower and sustainability topics. The event will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Mosonyi award is one of three to be presented at the 2019 Congress, along with the IHA Blue Planet Prize and the IHA Young Researcher Award.  

The Blue Planet Prize is awarded to projects which clearly demonstrate excellence according to a range of social, environmental, technical and economic criteria. Entries for the 2019 award closed on 31 December 2018.

The Young Researcher Award recognises and rewards emerging talent in academia and the hydropower sector. It invites academic researchers aged under 30 to submit a short article summarising their work which is relevant to at least one topic under discussion at the Congress. The deadline for entry to the Young Researcher Award has been extended to 3 March 2019.

At the 2019 World Hydropower Congress senior executives from more than 70 countries will share knowledge on a range of hydropower and sustainability topics. The event will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

To learn more about the Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower or to nominate a candidate, please visit: hydropower.org/mosonyi-award-for-excellence-in-hydropower

Secure your place at the 2019 World Hydropower Congress by registering today.

14/2/2019
Deadline extended for IHA Young Researcher Award
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14 February 2019

There is just under a month left for young engineers and scientists to apply for the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) prestigious Young Researcher Award.

The award recognises emerging talent researching hydropower, water and energy systems and will be presented at the 2019 World Hydropower Congress between 14 to 16 May in Paris.    

2017 winner Alexandros Korkovelos accepts his award at the World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Open to academic researchers aged under 30, entrants are invited to submit a short article summarising their work (no more than 1,500 words). The subject must be relevant to at least one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming World Hydropower Congress.

The winner will receive a year’s individual membership with IHA and free registration to the 2019 Congress, where they will be invited to present their research. Those who make the shortlist will have their articles published on the IHA website.

IHA’s Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The IHA Young Researcher Award provides an opportunity for young innovators to share their research with key representatives from the hydropower sector, government, financial and academic institutions and civil society. It is a rare chance to bring specialist research findings to the attention of policy-makers from around the world.”

The award was first presented at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing, China, where it was won by Sami Khan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his work on hydrophobic rare-earth oxide coatings and their potential application in hydropower systems.

It was awarded again at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The recipients were Alexandros Korkovelos of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sara Mercier-Blais of the University of Quebec in Montreal and Rafael Schmitt of UC Berkeley.

Since winning the award, Dr Schmitt has become Lead Hydrologist and a postdoctoral researcher at The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University. He referred to the experience as a “pivotal moment” for his research.

“The World Hydropower Congress exposed me to real-world challenges and led me to direct my research towards decision-relevant research questions. The network I established during the Congress has led to ongoing collaborations and research opportunities with key actors in the hydropower sector,” said Dr Schmitt.

This sentiment was echoed by Ms Mercier-Blais, for whom the Congress was a “first step” into the hydropower sector. “By attending different panel sessions, I learned about many subjects, which has helped me to better understand the context I am now working with.”

Mr Korkovelos, a PHD Researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, added: “Winning the award definitely had a positive impact on my career as it gave rise to new, interesting opportunities. The Congress provided the chance to get informed about the newest developments in hydropower and meet with experts in the field.”

The 2019 World Hydropower Congress will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is expected to bring together representatives from more than 100 countries.

To qualify, entrants must have been born after 31 December 1988 and must be affiliated with an academic institution. To find out more about the IHA Young Researcher Award, including the full entry criteria, visit www.hydropower.org/iha-young-researcher-award

Register for the 2019 World Hydropower Congress.

14/2/2019
Hydropower Europe launches as forum for region’s hydro community
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14 February 2019

A new multi-partner initiative – led by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) and supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) – aims to agree common research and innovation priorities for the hydropower sector in Europe.

HYDROPOWER EUROPE is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to provide a forum for the European hydropower community and representatives active throughout the sector’s value-chain, including industry, researchers, policy makers, end users and academia.    

The three-year project will develop a strategic research and innovation agenda and technology roadmap to guide funding authorities, such as the European Commission, to prioritise support aimed at helping the hydropower sector adapt to a constantly evolving energy system.

According to IHA’s 2018 Hydropower Status Report, hydropower remains the single largest source of renewable electricity across Europe, generating an estimated 600 TWh of clean electricity in 2017 - about 12 per cent of Europe’s electricity generation.

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE initiative will begin consultation with the European hydropower community through a series of online and face to face meetings, including regional workshops to develop the research and innovation agenda and technology roadmap.

“We are thrilled by the new opportunity this project offers the hydropower community in Europe,” said Anton Schleiss, Honorary President of ICOLD.  “Our responsibility towards our sector is very high. We have the task to bring a multitude of actors together and bring their voice to the European level so as to make our contribution to the energy transition, for which hydropower in Europe can be a catalyst.”

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE initiative will be presented at a dedicated session at the World Hydropower Congress between 14 and 15 May 2019, which brings together senior representatives of industry, government, finance and civil society to set priorities for the future of the sector.

IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The transition to a low-carbon economy in Europe begins with the energy system. Hydropower will play an integral part in this transformation, reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and supporting growth in variable renewables such as wind and solar.

“This forum, HYDROPOWER EUROPE, will engage Europe’s hydropower community and foster communication and cooperation to align priorities in research and development (R&D) to support the pathway to a sustainable future.”

Mathis Rogner, IHA Senior Analyst, added: “By examining the unique set of policy, technological and scientific challenges facing the hydropower sector, HYDROPOWER EUROPE will look at new and innovative approaches to the development and application of technological and social processes as they relate to the energy transition.”

Led by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), HYDROPOWER EUROPE initiative partners are:

  • The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE)
  • The European Renewable Energy Federation
  • The European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF)
  • The Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC)
  • The International Hydropower Association (IHA)
  • SAMUI, which brings expertise in water and environmental research, and communication and dissemination
  • VGB PowerTech, the international technical association for generation and storage of power and heat
  • ZABALA, a consultancy in energy-related platforms as well as project dissemination and communication.

For more information please visit the HYDROPOWER EUROPE website: www.hydropower-europe.eu and hydropower.org/hydropower-europe

8/2/2019
Independent hydro developers assess growth opportunities at workshop
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8 February 2019

Private developers, investors and government agencies examined the “great potential” for independently owned and sustainably managed hydro projects in emerging economies at a recent workshop in London, UK.

Organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the workshop on 1 February 2019 looked at solutions to environmental, social, financial, legal and technical challenges brought forward by private sector hydropower development, with a focus on projects built in Africa.    

A panel discussion during the workshop

Despite recent growth in private investment in Africa’s power sector, only around 10 per cent of the continent’s economically feasible hydropower potential has been developed. Independent power producers (IPPs) form part of the power sector in the majority of African countries, but hydropower IPPs are less common.

Anton-Louis Olivier, CEO of Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), an investor, developer, owner and operator of hydropower projects across southern and eastern Africa, emphasised the “great potential for sustainable hydropower development” in the region.

Addressing the significant disparity between utilised hydropower capacity in Africa and other world regions, Mr Olivier said: “It’s important that private developers utilise the benefits of sustainable hydropower to respond to the increasing opportunities for independent power producers in Africa.”

Rebecca Wooding, Infrastructure Advisor at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), also noted the “huge potential for growth” of many low-income African countries as “much of the permanent, long-term infrastructure is still to be built.”

Kelly Malone, Partner and Head of the Global Power Team at King & Spalding law firm, highlighted the 420 MW run-of-river Nachtigal hydropower project, which is under development in Cameroon. Mr Malone praised the public-private partnership between the government of Cameroon, EDF and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). “From a historic standpoint, this is probably one of the most important milestones for the financing of hydropower in Africa,” Mr Malone commented.

Considerations for external stakeholders and local communities formed a large part of the day’s discussions. “People are at the heart of development and water has huge emotional, cultural and livelihood value to people and the ecosystems they depend on,” stated Shibani Bose, Environmental and Social Officer at FMO, the Dutch development bank.

Duncan Russell, Technical Director at Environmental Resources Management, remarked on the importance of investment decisions being informed by sustainability assessments. “Funders are fundamentally interested because they want to make lending decisions which are based on solid and sound background that integrates up to date engineering design with current and future environmental needs in a transparent manner,” he said.  

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, closed the workshop by saying: “Finding solutions to advance hydropower development will depend on getting a pipeline of good projects designed to deliver what is needed in the countries and regions that will be hosting them.”

The workshop was organised in partnership with REH and King & Spalding, which hosted the event at its London office. It is part of a series of focused events leading up to the 2019 World Hydropower Congress, 14-16 May in Paris, France.

IHA members can access presentations and photos from the workshop in Hydropower Pro, IHA’s online member community. Please contact external-relations@hydropower.org for information on becoming a member.

IHA members and non-members can now register for the World Hydropower Congress, which includes 37 focused sessions and workshops on topics including project ownership and financing, integrated planning, river basin development, small-scale power systems, and sustainability reporting.

Visit the World Hydropower Congress website for more details: www.hydropower.org/congress

18/12/2018
COP24: UN climate conference concludes with rulebook agreement
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19 December 2018

The UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland, concluded this weekend with agreement by 196 countries on plans for a common rulebook for bringing the Paris Agreement into force by 2020.

The rulebook outlines how governments should report their greenhouse gas emissions and contributions to climate finance, as well as rules about voluntary market mechanisms such as carbon trading.

Governments also agreed to revise and enhance their climate action commitments, as described in so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), before 2020.    

IHA Senior Analyst Mathis Rogner addresses a COP24 side event hosted in partnership with the REN Alliance.

Representatives of IHA and its member organisations led discussions about hydropower’s contribution to climate change solutions, the highlight of which was the launch by Itaipu Binacional and the United Nations of a new Global Network of Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions.

“For the sake of our future generations, the time to act is now,” said IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor, a member of the Global Network’s steering committee, as he commended the Brazilian-Paraguayan hydropower operator and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs for the new initiative.

José Alberto Alderete Rodríguez, Itaipu’s Paraguayan Director-General, called on more organisations to be engaged to “combat climate change”. “It is time to act, to move from commitment to practice, and this is the vision we have,” he said.

"Itaipu works for the border region of Brazil and Paraguay, and for the world, especially to improve capacities in water and energy management, which is fundamental to promote sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 2030,” added Marcos Stamm, the organisation’s Brazilian Director General.

As a member of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance), IHA also participated in a joint side event on 11 December looking at the changes required to the global power sector if governments are to deliver the Paris Agreement.

"The energy transition means a fundamental transformation of the way we, as a global society, use, supply, buy and sell electricity," said IHA Senior Analyst Mathis, as he outlined hydropower's contribution in enabling countries such as Portugal and Costa Rica to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity in 2018.

Pumped storage, floating photovoltaics and innovative co-location projects are all supporting growth in variable renewables, Mr Rogner noted, with hydropower continuing to innovate with digitalisation supporting new “smart” grids. “This will help hydropower evolve and do a better job of balancing variable renewables,” he added.

During the conference, IHA and the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a coalition of industry, civil society, governments and financial institutions, also launched new Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice. The 26 guidelines define expected sustainability performance around a range of environmental, social, technical and governance topics relevant to hydropower.

The COP24 conference was the last major event for the energy and hydropower sector in 2018, ahead of the World Hydropower Congress in May 2019, which is now open for registration.

18/12/2018
Pumped storage hydropower to turbocharge the clean energy transition
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18 December 2018

An additional 78,000 megawatts (MW) in clean energy storage capacity is expected to come online by 2030 from hydropower reservoirs fitted with pumped storage technology, according to the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

In a working paper published today, The World’s Water Battery: Pumped Hydropower Storage and the Clean Energy Transition, IHA also estimates that pumped hydropower storage projects globally now store up to 9,000 gigawatt hours (GWh).    

Guangzhou pumped storage plant, China. Credit: Voith.

“Pumped hydropower storage (PHS) accounts for over 94 per cent of global energy storage capacity, ahead of lithium-ion and other forms of storage,” said IHA Senior Analyst Nicholas Troja, one of the paper’s authors. “It will play a critical role in the clean energy transition by supporting variable renewable energy, reducing greenhouse emissions and providing stability to power grids.”

With more than 100 projects currently in the pipeline, existing pumped hydropower storage capacity is expected to increase by almost 50 per cent by 2030 – from 161,000 MW today to 239,000 MW – according to the working paper which draws on data from IHA’s Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool.

The working paper describes the benefits of pumped storage as power systems seek to incorporate more wind and solar projects into their portfolios. Innovations such as variable speed pump-turbines and ternary systems are allowing for faster and wider operating ranges, providing additional flexibility at all timescales, and enabling higher penetrations of variable renewable energy at lower system costs.

Download The World’s Water Battery: Pumped Hydropower Storage and the Clean Energy Transition.

The authors also investigate current business models and emerging opportunities for financing PHS projects, particularly in liberalised energy markets, while warning of barriers to future development. Despite the projected growth in PHS capacity, they note that policy and market frameworks are not properly incentivising and rewarding the services it provides.

“Pumped storage technology and operations support the energy transition, however policies and market frameworks have struggled to catch up and are failing to adequately reward the flexibility provided by hydropower,” added Mr Troja.

The publication is released alongside a major update to IHA’s Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool, which shows the status of PHS projects around the world, their installed generating and pumping capacity, and their actual or planned date of commissioning.

Visit the Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool: hydropower.org/pumpedstoragetool

IHA Senior Analyst Mathis Rogner said: “The working paper draws on data newly available through the Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool, the most comprehensive online resource of its kind on the world's water batteries. This builds on IHA’s knowledge building programme involving sector monitoring and analysis to inform discussion and debate about new trends and developments in the hydropower sector.”

The December 2018 update to the tracking tool includes additional information on PHS projects, both operational and in various stages of development. The tool’s interactive map includes configuration details for each project, including estimations of total energy stored and maximum head.

The working paper concludes by setting out the policy areas and knowledge gaps that would benefit from further research and discussion to advance the role of pumped hydropower storage in clean energy systems.

At the World Hydropower Congress, in Paris between 14-16 May 2019, decision-makers, policy-makers, experts and innovators from across the sector will explore the changing landscape for pumped storage. A focus session on 15 May will look at the policy and market mechanisms that are required to ensure stable power grids and cost-effective pumped hydro operations.

Learn more about pumped storage hydropower.

13/12/2018
Sustainability guidelines define good practice for hydropower
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13 December 2018

New sustainability guidelines released today present a definition of the processes and outcomes relating to good international practice in the hydropower sector.

The Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice are a reference document to meet the expectations of lenders, regulators and consumers.

Derived through consultation with a broad coalition of industry, civil society, governments and financial institutions, the set of 26 guidelines define expected sustainability performance around a range of environmental, social, technical and governance topics relevant to hydropower activities.    

The guidelines are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, whose 100 members include representatives of organisations such as the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, Women for Water Partnership, WWF, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Norwegian Agency for Development, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “The publication of the guidelines is a major landmark for the hydropower sector. They are a much-needed reference document, as they set out what constitutes good practice in processes and outcomes for sustainable hydropower.”

Roger Gill, Chair of the Council’s governance committee, said the guidelines should “demystify what is required to advance sustainable hydropower”. “Use of the guidelines on good international industry practice will enable hydropower developers and operators across the world to step up to ensure their projects can meet the needs and expectations of the communities they serve,” he stated.  

Aligned with standards developed by the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the Equator Principles group of banks, the guidelines are hydropower-specific and designed to support assessments of project performance using the Council’s internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and ESG Gap Analysis Tool.

Developed for a range of stages in the planning, development and operation of a hydropower project, compliance with each guideline can be specified in commercial contracts between financiers and developers, and developers and contractors.

Lesha Witmer, Advocacy Lead for the NGO Women for Water Partnership, a member of the Council’s governance committee, said the new sustainability guidelines are “an important tool” for developers as well as governments, environmental organisations and local communities. “It is extremely important to have good guidance and examples on how to sustainably use water for energy - and energy for water - adhering to implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 7. The guidelines on good practice are a contribution to do just that.”

Eduard Wojczynski, a specialist consultant on hydropower sustainability, said: “The sustainability guidelines are a well-articulated and concise set of principles which will be useful in both developing and developed countries. They are important in that they will assist in ensuring hydropower is developed and operated in a sustainable manner and in enhancing societal acceptance of hydropower.”

Download the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines at:
hydropower.org/sustainabilityguidelines or hydrosustainability.org/guidelines

Media enquiries:

Will Henley, IHA Head of Communications
will.henley@hydropower.org

11/12/2018
Itaipu and UN partnership to share water and energy solutions
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A Global Network of Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions, led by Itaipu Binacional and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, was launched during the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 24) in Poland.

The network is the result of an agreement signed between the two organisations in March 2018. It will create a platform for sharing knowledge and good practices on integrated approaches for delivering Sustainable Development Goals 6 (clean water and sanitation) and 7 (affordable and clean energy).

The initiative is supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), with Chief Executive Richard Taylor joining as a member of the partnership’s steering committee.    

IHA's Chief Excutive Richard Taylor (centre) with representatives of Itaipu Binacional at COP24.

At the launch event in the Polish city of Katowice on 4 December 2018, UN DESA Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin stated that water and energy are interconnected and crucial issues for the achievement of the SDGs.

In South America, for example, the availability of water has a direct relationship with energy generation, since hydropower accounts for more than 80 per cent of electricity supply. At the same time, the process of treatment and supply of drinking water is highly dependent on electricity.

Mr Liu drew attention to the fact that 1 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity, and 2.1 billion people lack access to water at home.

"The next decade is a window of opportunity for the international community to take action on these issues and to make significant progress. In this scenario, an integrated approach to SDGs 6 and 7 is a powerful tool," said Mr Liu. "And Itaipu is an example of this, as I personally witnessed last May when I visited the plant,” he added.

Itaipu, a member of IHA, was represented at the launch by financial directors, Mário Cecato (Brazil) and Monica Perez dos Santos (Paraguay), who emphasised the company's commitment to sharing its experiences in promoting development, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and income generation

"This partnership with UN DESA is closely linked to our company. Water and energy are key issues for Itaipu's activities", said Mr Cecato. "It is from the water and energy care that Itaipu demonstrates its commitment to promoting economic, social and environmental development, both in Brazil and in Paraguay,” Ms Perez added.    

Mr Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the launch event on 4 December 2018

Mr Taylor said the International Hydropower Association was committed to supporting the initiative. "There are very few examples, such as Itaipu, where the commitment to sustainable development is central to all its activities”, Mr Taylor said. “So we have to learn from these examples. For the sake of our future generations, the time to act is now."

Itaipu is also a strategic partner for the World Hydropower Congress, which is organised by IHA and hosted by UNESCO in Paris. Registration for the biennial event, held between 14 and 16 May 2019, is now open.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, was among those to welcome the launch of the global partnership. “It’s a unique and positive way forward - one that not only promotes water and energy sustainability, but advances the SDGs as well,” she said.

“Your goal is clear: to grow this global network over time to become one of the largest multi-stakeholder-based knowledge networks on water and energy. You also recognise the influential and defining role that climate change plays in this as well. We appreciate your work, your partnership and the results you’ve achieved so far. Never have we needed this work like now.”

Ms Espinosa added: “Governments alone cannot solve climate change. We need all people on board if we’re to truly make a difference.”

How it works

The network's proposal is to attract other organisations, governments and companies working with an integrated approach between water and energy. To join the platform, UN DESA is asking interested parties to produce case studies about their practices. After a review by the UN body, the studies will be made available online.

For more information please contact: communications@hydropower.org and jpcu@itaipu.gov.py or complete the contact form on the UN DESA website.

10/12/2018
IHA Young Researcher Award opens to emerging engineers and scientists
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10 December 2018

Young engineers and scientists researching hydropower, water and energy systems can now apply for the International Hydropower Association’s prestigious Young Researcher of the Year award.

The 2019 award, which recognises and rewards emerging talent in academia and the hydropower sector, will be presented at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris, 14-16 May 2019.  

The recipients of the IHA Young Researcher Award at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress

Open to academic researchers aged under 30, entrants are invited to submit a short article summarising their work (no more than 1,500 words). The subject must be relevant to at least one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming World Hydropower Congress.

The winner will receive a year’s individual membership with IHA and free registration to the 2019 Congress, where they will be invited to present their research. Those who make the shortlist will have their articles published on the IHA website.

IHA’s Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The IHA Young Researcher Award provides an opportunity for young innovators to share their research with key representatives from the hydropower sector, government, financial and academic institutions and civil society. It is a rare chance to bring specialist research findings to the attention of policy-makers from around the world.”

The award was first presented at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing, China, where it was won by Sami Khan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his work on hydrophobic rare-earth oxide coatings and their potential application in hydropower systems.

It was awarded again at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The recipients were Alexandros Korkovelos of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sara Mercier-Blais of the University of Quebec in Montreal and Rafael Schmitt of UC Berkeley.

Since winning the award, Dr Schmitt has become Lead Hydrologist and a postdoctoral researcher at The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University. He referred to the experience as a “pivotal moment” for his research.

“The World Hydropower Congress exposed me to real-world challenges and led me to direct my research towards decision-relevant research questions. The network I established during the Congress has led to ongoing collaborations and research opportunities with key actors in the hydropower sector,” said Dr Schmitt.

This sentiment was echoed by Ms Mercier-Blais, for whom the Congress was a “first step” into the hydropower sector. “By attending different panel sessions, I learned about many subjects, which has helped me to better understand the context I am now working with.”

The 2019 World Hydropower Congress will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is expected to bring together representatives from more than 100 countries.

To qualify, entrants must have been born after 31 December 1988 and must be affiliated with an academic institution. To find out more about the IHA Young Researcher Award, including the full entry criteria, visit www.hydropower.org/iha-young-researcher-award.

Register for the 2019 World Hydropower Congress.

7/12/2018
Registration opens for 2019 World Hydropower Congress
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7 December 2018

Registration is now open for the World Hydropower Congress, the globe’s most important gathering of hydropower decision-makers, experts and innovators.

Register today

This biennial event, which takes place between 14-16 May 2019, brings together representatives of industry, government, finance and civil society to help shape the future of hydropower.

The event is organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and hosted in partnership with UNESCO.

Under the theme ‘The power of water in a sustainable, interconnected world’ the congress focusses on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

World Hydropower Congress | Paris


Attendees can expect:

  • 37 sessions and training workshops
  • Up to 1,000 delegates including decision-makers, experts and innovators
  • Representation from 70+ countries
  • Essential insights into managing freshwater, advancing clean energy systems, reporting on sustainability, and demonstrating climate solutions, among other topics
  • Study tours of hydropower facilities in France and other European countries

View the full agenda

More information about the Congress programme, including speakers, topics, tours and workshops, will be released over the coming weeks. Keep checking our website and sign up to receive updates.

Attendees are encouraged to take advantage of early bird rates available for a limited time period, further information can be found on the registration page:

Register here

11/10/2018
Decision-makers address climate change and digitalisation at workshop
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11 October 2018

More than 70 senior hydropower decision-makers came together for an IHA workshop to share experiences and look at tools to improve project performance and address issues such as climate change and digitalisation.

The workshop, which took place on 19 September 2018, was hosted in partnership with UNESCO at its headquarters in Paris, France.    

The workshop is part of a series leading to the World Hydropower Congress in May 2019.

During the workshop, IHA gave a presentation about new draft climate resilience guidelines for the hydropower sector which are being tested by IHA and its members in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank.

The guidelines aim to incorporate climate change resilience and hydrological risk management into hydropower project appraisal, design, construction and operation, resulting in more robust and resilient projects.

María Ubierna, Senior Hydropower Sector Analyst at IHA, said the guidelines would address the needs of the hydropower sector, wider financial community, policy makers and local communities. “These guidelines will help project owners and developers to go step by step to ensure that projects are resilient. There were no guidelines on this previously,” she said.

Dr Gabriel Azevedo, Chief of the Environmental, Social & Governance Division at IDB Invest, commented: “We think these guidelines can help a lot - we hope to be applying them to a few projects in the coming months.”

On the subject of digitalisation and data gathering, Stela Nenova, Corporate Affairs Advisor at ENTSO-E, said: “It’s very important, when talking about data and decision-making, that we gather good quality data and make tools openly available. Hydropower generators can help by providing better data and better access to data.”

Dr Óli Sveinsson, Executive Vice President of Research & Development at Landsvirkjun, highlighted the importance of data monitoring at hydropower infrastructure in tandem with visual inspections. “Using data efficiently requires a number of steps - in our case, investing in these steps has been highly rewarding.”

This sentiment was echoed by Daniel Paschini, Director of EDF-GEH’s Maurienne hydro business unit, who also remarked that although decision-makers can now benefit from computerised models and ‘big data’ processing, these technologies “cannot replace human intelligence, good organisation or skilled staff.”

During another session, speakers presented several tools which can help decision-makers with the reporting and benchmarking of sustainability practices at all stages of project development.

João Costa, IHA Sustainability Specialist, gave a presentation on the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which has been expanded to cover an assessment of a project’s resilience to climate change, and the Environmental, Social and Governance Gap Analysis (ESG) Tool, which was launched in July this year.  

The Protocol and ESG Tool provide decision-makers with the “knowledge, evidence and structure to allow them to make decisions in an informed way,” Mr Costa said.

Dr Julien Harou, Chair in Water Engineering at the University of Manchester, commented that the Protocol was “ahead of the game” and “looks at how hydropower can become, socially, environmentally and economically, a responsible and proactive player.”

Participants also learned about the GHG Reservoir (G-res) Tool, which allows project stakeholders to report on the carbon footprint of a reservoir. “The G-res Tool provides a more efficient and accurate non-field sampling way to assess the greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs,” said Sara Mercier-Blais, Research Associate at Université du Québec à Montréal.

Richard Taylor, IHA’s Chief Executive, closed the workshop by saying: “We’ve always had to make decisions under uncertainty, but it’s important to be able to explain why we make the decisions we do, and we need to work together to find solutions.”  

The workshop is part of a series of events leading up to the 2019 World Hydropower Congress between 14-16 May 2019. The next workshop in the series looks at hydropower financing under climate change on 30 January 2019 in London, UK. For more information, visit the workshop's web page or to register your interest contact events@hydropower.org

Visit the event webpage for more information about this Paris workshop.

1/10/2018
Hydropower operators discuss ‘new reality’ of digitalisation
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1 October 2018

With benefits including reduced operation and maintenance costs, and enhanced data analysis and project management, the digitalisation of hydropower projects and their control systems is a growing trend in the industry.

A recent workshop organised by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with support from the International Hydropower Association (IHA) explored how digital systems are advancing the operations, maintenance and modernisation of hydropower projects.    

The workshop explored how digital systems are advancing the operations, maintenance and modernisation of hydropower projects.

Hosted by the Joint Technical Commission of Salto Grande between 27 and 28 August 2018 at the Salto Grande hydroelectric complex, a major binational hydropower project on the Uruguay River between Argentina and Uruguay, the workshop looked at how to plan and implement digitalisation processes into hydropower projects. More than 130 people attended including representatives of IHA member and partner organisations based in South America, North and Central America, Asia and Europe.

“This workshop was a great opportunity to start a dialogue about the digitalisation of hydropower in Latin America, where hydro still provides around half of the electricity,” said Arturo Alarcón, Senior Regional Energy Specialist at IDB. “Digitalisation is the new reality for the sector. The faster we embrace it, the sooner we will get its benefits.”

Research by IHA forecasts that, by 2030, over half of the world’s hydropower plants will be due for upgrade and modernisation or will have already been renovated.

“Digitalisation provides an opportunity to optimise the design, development and operation of hydropower assets,” said IHA’s Chief Executive Richard Taylor. “It was great to bring together so many IHA members to share their experience and plans – the workshop was a hugely valuable forum to learn about the opportunities digitalisation can bring to the sector.”

One of the participants, Nuno Guedes, Area Director at Energias de Portugal (EDP), spoke about a recent contract signed with GE for a five-year asset management and digitalisation programme at several EDP hydropower plants in Portugal and Spain. “With these digital tools we expect to have more capability of analysing the data of these plants and to better decide how to invest and control their lifecycles,” he said.

Workshop participants had the chance to visit the Salto Grande hydroelectric complex. The project’s operator has been reviewing how new digital technology can provide performance improvements for the plant, which has been in operation since 1982.

The IHA-IDB workshop is part of a series of events leading up to the 2019 World Hydropower Congress between 14-16 May 2019.

IHA also addressed digitalisation, climate change and sustainability at a workshop in Paris, France, on 19 September 2018. To find out more, visit the event webpage.

Last week IDB and IHA signed a partnership agreement to support sustainable development involving hydropower across Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more.

12/9/2018
IHA launches Fellow membership for hydropower professionals
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13 September 2018

Experienced professionals working in the hydropower community can now apply to become a Fellow of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

IHA, a not-for-profit organisation committed to advancing sustainable hydropower, is launching Fellow membership to acknowledge the valuable contributions of professionals at the forefront of the sector’s development.

IHA Fellows (left to right) Gil Maranhão Neto F.IHA, Chief Strategy, Communications and CSR Officer at Engie Brasil; Christine Cantin F.IHA, Senior Advisor at Hydro-Québec; and Moisés Machava F.IHA, Executive Director of Hydroélectrica de Cahora Bassa.

Announcing the new initiative, Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “Since IHA was formed more than 20 years ago we have championed continuous improvement and sustainable practices in the hydropower sector. In offering Fellow membership, we are seeking to recognise senior professionals who, through their service and commitment, have moved the sector forward and been an inspiration to others.”

IHA Fellow status, under which an individual is entitled to use the letters ‘F.IHA’ as a professional title, is awarded on the basis of proven experience and provides an opportunity to join a global network of hydropower experts from all regions of the world.

Fellows of IHA will have the opportunity to contribute their wealth of knowledge, experience and ideas to IHA’s work and programmes, in support of its mission to advance sustainable hydropower, and will receive invitations to special events including dedicated online groups, expert panels and webinars.

To qualify, an individual must share a commitment to the values and mission of IHA and have at least five years’ experience in a senior management position in the hydropower sector, or 10 years’ experience in a specialist field relating to hydropower. The individual must be a current member of IHA.

Applicants are required to submit an application form summarising how their professional experience meets the eligibility criteria. The individual must also provide two supporting professional referees. There is no fee for Fellow membership: F.IHA status is awarded on merit alone.

To find out more and to apply to become a Fellow of IHA, visit hydropower.org/fellow-iha

5/9/2018
IDB and IHA partner to promote the sustainable modern role of hydropower
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5 September 2018

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) have signed a partnership agreement to support sustainable development involving hydropower across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The memorandum of understanding agreed by the heads of the two organisations seeks to expand opportunities for the exchange and adoption of good industry practices with the goal of enhancing the technical, social, economic and environmental performance of new and existing projects.  

The joint IDB-IHA workshop was attended by more than 130 people, including representatives from over ten IHA member organisations from Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

The IDB provides loans, grants and technical assistance for major renewable energy projects and champions research into climate change and sustainability, innovation and social inclusion.

IHA is an international non-profit association established under the auspices of UNESCO. With members in more than 100 countries, the association’s mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge renewable energy systems, freshwater management and climate change solutions.

On signing the agreement, IDB´s Infrastructure and Energy Sector Manager Agustin Aguerre said: "One of the key drivers for this collaboration is that both institutions have a strong focus on supporting sustainable development. The focus in this particular case is hydropower. We are thrilled to work with IHA in the development of solutions, programmes and the advancement of hydropower as one of the cleanest energy sources that will foster the Latin American and the Caribbean’s advancement.”

IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “IHA is delighted to partner with the Inter-American Development Bank. The bank was an important voice in the development of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, the internationally recognised tool for assessing hydropower’s performance. This new agreement will expand opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing and support the adoption of good practices in the planning, financing, development, operation and modernisation of hydropower projects.”

The partnership agreement follows a joint IDB-IHA international workshop which was held last week to build knowledge on how digital systems are advancing hydropower operations, maintenance and modernisation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The workshop on 27 and 28 August was hosted by the Joint Technical Commission of Salto Grande, a major binational hydropower project on the Uruguay River between Argentina and Uruguay. To find out more please visit the event webpage.

The role of digital systems in advancing hydropower operations will be on the agenda of the World Hydropower Congress, to be held in Paris between 14 and 16 May 2019. The conference is organised in partnership with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme. Register your interest at www.hydropower.org/congress

26/7/2018
United Nations forum: achieving sustainability goals through integration
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27 July 2018

The first global review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on water and energy took place at a recent high-level United Nations forum in New York, USA.  

The 2018 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development saw 47 countries carry out voluntary national reviews of several SDGs, including SDGs 6 and 7.    

Despite adoption of the SDGs in 2015, the world still faces a water and energy crisis, with more than a billion people lacking access to electricity and over two billion without safely managed water services.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), said: “Meeting the SDGs on water and energy can only be realised if we build clean energy systems, manage freshwater responsibly and deliver climate change solutions. If we work on SDGs 6 and 7 in an integrated way, there’s a good chance we will achieve all our sustainability goals.”

Integrated approaches for water and energy to help achieve the SDGs was the focus of a seminar hosted by the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership, a new initiative between UN DESA and IHA platinum member Itaipu Binacional.

Participants discussed the need for holistic implementation of water and energy solutions and shared ideas, innovations, programmes, partnerships and business models.

The Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership was launched in March to find solutions to the world’s pressing energy and water challenges. It will work over an initial four-year period to promote water and energy sustainability, as well as other SDGs in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

IHA’s Richard Taylor sits on the partnership’s steering committee, which met for the first time during the forum, alongside representatives from UN DESA, Itaipu Binacional, governments, businesses, civil society and international organisations.

The sixth annual United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, titled ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’, took place between 9 and 18 July.

Alongside water and energy, the forum looked at goal 11, sustainable cities and communities; goal 12, responsible consumption and production; goal 15, life on land; and goal 17, partnerships for the goals.

Find out more about the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development online.

25/7/2018
Incident at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam in Laos
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25 July 2018

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is deeply saddened to hear of the major flood incident at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy project in Laos on Monday night.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected and all those involved in the recovery and relief effort.

The Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy project

On Monday 23 July, one of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy project’s saddle dams failed and caused severe flooding into the Xe-Pian River, affecting several villages in the Sanamxay district. Detailed investigations by authorities and SK Engineering & Construction, the lead company responsible for building the dam, are still underway.

Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company (PNPC), the owner of the project, is a joint venture between SK Engineering & Construction, Korea Western Power, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding and Lao Holding State Enterprise.

Underpinning the financing of the project was a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between PNPC and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, which would see 90 per cent of electricity exported to Thailand. The remaining 10 per cent is part of a PPA between PNPC and Électricité du Laos. Under the terms of development, the project is intended to become the property of the Laotian government after 27 years.

Hydropower in Laos and regional interconnections

Laos has 4,984 MW of installed hydropower capacity and generated an estimated 22.7 TWh last year. It has a much larger theoretical potential of around 26.5 GW.

Laos continues to expand its generating capacity with an increasing emphasis on regional integration. Over 50 new hydropower projects are under consideration across the country, representing 8,000 MW of additional capacity if all were to be realised. Several projects totalling 166 MW were commissioned in 2017.

Driven by strong economic growth, energy demand in Southeast Asia has grown by 60 per cent over the past 15 years. According to the International Energy Agency, the region is expected to grow by a further 60 per cent by 2040.

Laos is a key power exporter to the Southeast Asia region. Currently, Laos sells its electricity to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Thailand is its main market, requiring up to 9,000 MW capacity by 2025. Laos is looking to expand its sales to Malaysia via Thailand’s electrical interconnection, and then to Singapore through Malaysia. In the first nine months of 2017, Laos exported 19 TWh of electricity, worth about USD 975 million. This was an increase of 25 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.

Laos transmits electricity into Thailand at various locations, including from the Nam Theun 2 hydropower station (1,090 MW), through an interconnection at the Thai border near Savannakhet, and at further connections to the northeast of Thailand. Theun Hinboun hydropower station (440 MW) exports electricity through transmission lines in south central Laos into Thailand, and the Nam Ngum hydropower stations (Phase 1 is 155 MW and Phase 2 is 615 MW) export electricity further to the north.

Hydropower stations are also connected to Vietnam’s electricity grid, with interconnections in the south of Laos fed by the Xekaman Phase 1 (290 MW) and Phase 3 (250 MW) stations.

IHA has offered collaboration to Laos on sharing relevant experience within its international network of members and partners, and stands ready to support the government and all organisations involved in hydropower development and operations.

17/7/2018
Study shows hydropower’s greenhouse gas footprint
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24 May 2018

A new study of the greenhouse gas footprint of almost 500 reservoirs worldwide, which applied the G-res Tool for assessing net emissions, indicates that hydropower is one of the cleanest energy sources.

The greenhouse gas footprint of hydropower has long been questioned in both scientific and policy spheres, especially with regard to emissions caused by the creation of a reservoir. There has been a lack of scientific consensus on how to quantify this footprint, and this uncertainty has proved a significant obstacle for policy and decision makers concerning the financing of hydropower projects and whether they achieve the designation of being climate-friendly.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its Fifth Assessment Report published in 2014, noted that only onshore and offshore wind and nuclear power have lower median lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than hydropower. However the panel cautioned that few studies had appraised the net emissions of freshwater reservoirs, allowing for pre-existing natural sources and sinks and unrelated human emission sources.

The challenge of assessing net climate emissions

Over the years, a number of researchers have measured gross reservoir emissions at sites around the world, but the results of each study cannot be reliably applied to other reservoirs, even in the same region. The biochemical processes leading to emissions from a reservoir are highly complex, and life-cycle emissions are very specific to the siting and design of each hydropower facility.

Emissions relating to the construction and operation of a dam, due to fossil fuel combustion and cement/steel production, can vary depending on its type and size. Once filled, factors such as a reservoir’s depth and shape, the amount of sun reaching its floor, and wind speed, affect the different biogeochemical pathways by which CO2 and CH4 are created and released to the atmosphere.

The process of taking measurements to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of a hydropower facility or reservoir can be cumbersome or prohibitively expensive. Calculating the net change in emissions caused by a reservoir is highly challenging.

Development of the G-res Tool

Against this backdrop, the GHG Reservoir (G-res) Tool was developed by IHA and UNESCO in cooperation with researchers from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQÀM) in Canada, the Norwegian Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF) and the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE). This research was supported by the World Bank and sponsors from the hydropower sector.

The tool was devised to enable companies, investors and other stakeholders to more accurately estimate the net change in GHG emissions attributable to the creation of a specific reservoir. It takes into account the state of the land pre-impoundment, considering naturally occurring emissions and emissions related to other human activities over the lifetime of the reservoir. It also provides a method for apportioning the net GHG footprint to the various freshwater services that a reservoir provides, such as water supply for irrigation and cities, flood and drought management, navigation, fisheries and recreation.

The G-res Tool was formally launched, after more than a decade of development work, at the World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2017.

Worldwide study of hydropower reservoirs

During 2017, researchers from IHA undertook a study of 498 reservoirs worldwide using the G-res Tool. The study looked at reservoirs in boreal, temperate, subtropical and tropical climates more than 50 countries in North and Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, South and Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.    

The study used the G-res Tool to estimate the GHG footprint of 178 single purpose hydropower reservoirs and 320 multipurpose reservoirs, excluding emissions caused by construction activity. This data was coupled with project-specific installed hydropower capacity and average annual generation data to obtain the emissions intensity of each site’s hydropower operations.

The global median GHG emission intensity of the hydropower reservoirs included in the study was 18.5 gCO2-eq/kWh; this is the grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated allocated to hydropower over a life-cycle. The majority, or 84 per cent of reservoirs, exhibited emissions less than 100 gCO2-eq/kWh. For a comparison with the median values of other electricity sources, see figure 1.

Temperature is one of the variables that has, in theory, a significant effect on reservoir emissions. However mean annual temperature is only one of many variables that influence GHG emissions. The G-res Tool includes other input variables such as the soil carbon content of the reservoir, depth of the thermocline, reservoir drawdown area and the catchment annual run-off. The second figure above shows the emissions intensity attributable to hydropower reservoirs categorised by their respective climate zones.

The IHA study confirms the majority of hydropower reservoirs studied are producing very low-carbon power; although some reservoirs in every climate category can potentially have high emissions exceeding 100 gCO2-eq/kWh (defined by the Climate Bonds Initiative to be an important threshold).

Figure 2 shows the relationship between the GHG emissions intensity (gCO2-eq/kWh) plotted against the power density of the projects (W/m2). High emissions intensities are possible from hydropower reservoirs, even on the same order of magnitude as fossil fuel generators, but only at extremely low power densities. Low power density however does not necessarily translate to high emissions intensity, as many projects with low power densities have emissions intensities well below 100 gCO2-eq/kWh (left of the red line).

   

It bears noting that the emissions intensity identified from this study applies only to hydropower projects with large reservoirs; many hydropower projects, often run-of-river, do not flood significant areas of land and consequently will have even lower emissions. It should also be noted that hydropower facilities equipped with reservoir storage provide many other valuable power and water benefits. By storing water in a reservoir, a project can offer balancing and ancillary services, delivering dispatachable power when needed. A reservoir also provides water for vital non-power uses such as flood control and drought management, and water supply for municipalities and agriculture.

This article is featured in the 2018 Hydropower Status Report.

11/7/2018
New tools launched for assessing hydropower good practice
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11 July 2018

A multi-stakeholder coalition of civil society, industry, governments and financial institutions today launched an expanded suite of tools for assessing hydropower projects against sustainability performance criteria.

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, the world’s leading scoring framework for evaluating hydropower projects, has been updated to examine hydropower’s carbon footprint and resilience to climate change. In addition, a new tool will enable project proponents and investors to identify and address gaps against international good practice.

The new suite of tools was developed over 18 months by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, which is constituted by organisations such as the World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, WWF, the Inter-American Development Corporation, hydropower companies and governments.

“Today marks the most significant expansion in the tools available to assess hydropower performance in almost a decade, following extensive consultation within and beyond the hydropower sector,” commented Mr Roger Gill, Chair of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol’s governance committee.

“This is good news for both project proponents and concerned stakeholders who want to measure projects against international practice. Developers and investors now have a targeted, cost effective way of assessing sustainability, while governments and communities can be confident that evaluations are based on robust, objective criteria,” he added.

The new suite of tools comprises:    

An expanded sustainability protocol

An expansion of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, first launched in 2010, to cover best and good practice in climate mitigation and resilience. A project that scores well under the new criteria will have a low carbon footprint and be resilient to the impacts of climate change.    

A targeted gap analysis tool

A new Hydropower Sustainability Environmental, Social and Governance Gap Analysis Tool. Modelled on the Protocol’s evaluation framework, the ESG Tool offers a targeted assessment across 12 core sections, including biodiversity, downstream flows, project affected communities, cultural heritage, working conditions, and infrastructure safety, as well as climate change.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) supports the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council as the Protocol’s management body, overseeing the training and accreditation of independent assessors. Assessments can be made at all stages of a hydropower project’s lifetime, from preparation, to development and operation.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, commented:

“With this announcement, the hydropower sector now has two ways to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of a project. The ESG Tool will allow companies to identify good practice and address gaps through a management plan, providing vital reassurance to investors and other stakeholders. For companies that require a more comprehensive assessment, the Protocol remains the first choice for benchmarking a project and showcasing how it performs against international good practice and proven best practice.”

Doug Smith, an accredited assessor who helped to develop the expanded suite of tools, said:

“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol’s new climate change topic will underline its status as the leading tool for hydropower assessment, reflecting newly built consensus in both greenhouse-gas emissions and climate resilience. The ESG Tool’s impact on the sector could also be profound, as the assessments will be systematic and rapid, without compromising rigour, and will include an action plan to close any gaps against good practice.”

Dr James Dalton, Director of the Global Water Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), commented:

“Developing tools and guidelines to help guide society with the resource management choices we face is critical to our future economic, social and environmental development. The hydropower industry has learned from the last eight years of Protocol experience. Building this experience into the Protocol and the new ESG tool is critical to help industry and investors learn, gain confidence in the tools, and expand the use of the Protocol.”

Luiz Gabriel Todt de Azevedo, Chief of the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Division of IDB Invest, part of the Inter-American Development Corporation, commented that the new ESG Tool aligns with the Protocol’s goal of promoting sustainable hydropower.

“The new ESG Tool responds to industry demands. It is an agile and low-cost alternative to be employed by developers and operators in the first level assessment of their projects,” he said.

The tool was developed by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) under the mandate of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council and with the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Further information:

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol was developed in response to the World Commission on Dams, which showed the need for the hydropower sector to have a global tool for reporting sustainability.

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, which governs the Protocol, includes environmental NGOs and IGOs (The Nature Conservancy, WWF, IUCN), social NGOs (Transparency International, Women for Water Partnership), development banks (World Bank Group, Inter-American Development Corporation), governments (Norway, Switzerland), and hydropower sector owners and contractors.

The new ESG Tool focuses on 12 sections: Environmental and social impact assessment and management; Labour and working conditions; Downstream flows, sedimentation and water quality; Project-affected communities and livelihoods; Resettlement; Indigenous peoples; Biodiversity and invasive species; Cultural heritage; Infrastructure safety; Climate change mitigation and resilience; Communications and consultation; and Governance and procurement.

To download the suite of tools and find out more information, please visit: hydropower.org/sustainability

27/6/2018
Assessing hydro projects in Africa with a recognised sustainability tool
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27 June 2018

There is growing demand for energy access across Africa, a continent with a total installed hydropower capacity of 35.3 GW and large untapped potential for new hydropower projects.

Water scarcity however remains a main challenge in many countries, so it is vital that resources are managed sustainably.    

IHA's Frank Faraday addresses participants at the Protocol workshop.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) led a recent workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, where representatives from hydropower companies, government and a range of other sectors learned how an internationally recognised sustainability tool can be used to assess planned or existing projects.

The workshop, part of the International Water Stewardship Programme’s (IWaSP) Water Stewardship for Sustainable Hydropower conference, looked at how the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol works and the value it provides, as well as a number of recent enhancements to the tool.

In Africa, the Protocol has been used to assess the sustainability of operations at the Cahora Bassa hydropower plant in Mozambique, as well as to undertake early stage assessments of several projects in Ghana. Several operators in the Zambezi river basin have also applied the Protocol in self-assessments, having been assisted by accredited assessors.

The Protocol has proven to be highly valuable when promoting stakeholder awareness and involvement, and addressing environmental and freshwater management, according to Frank Faraday, IHA’s Sustainability Programme Manager.

“The challenge is working out how to get sustainability mainstreamed within decision-making in places where resources are much more constrained,” he said. “We need to think about how the Protocol can be embedded more into internal processes within companies.”

The 7 June workshop was attended by 25 participants and held with the support of GiZ, the German government’s international development agency. The programme included a discussion on applying the Protocol for use on small-scale hydropower projects in developing countries.

João Costa, IHA Sustainability Specialist, said: “A lot of the small-scale hydropower developers in attendance were very interested in the Protocol as it provides a clear reference for good practice in sustainability. Training opportunities and building internal staff capacity were discussed as good starting points for incorporating use of the Protocol into small-scale projects.”

The IWaSP conference explored how water stewardship approaches can address current scarcity challenges and add value to existing models of hydropower development and operation. IHA participated in an IWaSP conference workshop on hydropower benefits.

One of the participants of the conference workshop, Anton-Louis Olivier, CEO of Renewable Energy Holdings Group, discussed the role of stakeholder participation in increasing the value of hydropower infrastructure.

“We, as project developers, contribute as good neighbours to the uplifting and maintenance of society, ecology and system infrastructures,” said Mr Olivier, recipient of IHA’s Mosonyi Award at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress.

“Project development requires us to navigate through a highly complex set of interrelated factors – technical, environmental, social, legal and commercial – in order to structure a viable and sustainable project.

“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol provides a clear set of principles to refer to and check throughout the development process in order to manage risks and improve project sustainability, specifically relating to social and environmental factors,” he added.

“In order to fairly share the benefits of a project with local communities and other stakeholders, it is important to understand its impacts by identifying and quantifying both the power and non-power benefits,” said Cristina Diez, IHA Hydropower Analyst, who also spoke at the conference workshop.

“As many of hydropower’s benefits are often misunderstood or under-reported, part of our work has been to provide a framework for collecting evidence.”

IHA has been building and sharing knowledge on the wide-ranging benefits of hydropower since it was founded in 1995. To find out more about the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol visit the Hydropower Sustainability website. Learn more about IHA’s hydropower benefits work programme.

For the latest information and statistics on hydropower in Africa, download the 2018 Hydropower Status Report.  

19/6/2018
IHA commits to building a more inclusive energy sector
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19 June 2018

The International Hydropower Association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition.

The partnership represents IHA's commitment to promoting the role and contribution of women in the energy sector, particularly in the transition to a low carbon future. It also includes the promotion of mentoring, networking and coaching opportunities to encourage the increased participation of women in decision-making positions.    

Photo credit: GWNET

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Richard Taylor, IHA’s Chief Executive, and Christine Lins, founding member of the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) on 6 June.

Mr Taylor said: “Our mission to advance sustainable hydropower includes building a vibrant, inclusive and proactive community. We’re proud to be a strategic partner of GWNET, a network which shares these values, as we look towards decarbonisation and a clean energy future.”  

GWNET was founded in 2017 to address the energy sector’s current gender imbalance and promote gender-sensitive action around the energy transition worldwide.

According to its founders, GWNET empowers women in energy through interdisciplinary networking, advocacy, training, coaching and mentoring, and services related to projects and financing.

“GWNET is thrilled to work with the International Hydropower Association to raise the voice of women in hydro, thereby bringing fresh perspectives to the development of societies, attracting and retaining a richer pool of talent in the sector and advancing the energy transition more quickly,” commented Ms Lins.

The new partnership advances on IHA’s recent support of the Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program, which provides a platform for women to connect, make friendships and share experiences in a supportive environment.

Christine Cantin, IHA Board member and Senior Advisor at Hydro-Québec voiced her support for IHA's new partnership with GWNET. Ms Cantin has been an advocate of the Women in Hydropower Mentorship Program since it started in 2016.

“Inclusion and diversity foster and enrich the work environment. Hydropower and women are key actors in the global energy transition, so it is by being associated with initiatives of this kind that we will promote gender diversity progress and a more sustainable world,” she said.

Find out more about GWNET by visiting its website.

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