A three-day Certified User Training on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools was held for the Inter-American Development Bank and IDB Invest in Washington D.C. in October by trainers from the International Hydropower Association.
Participants gained knowledge of good international industry practice in hydropower preparation, implementation and operation and how the tools can support clients involved in hydropower development across Latin America.
“Overall it was an excellent and pragmatic course,” said Roberto Aiello, Principal Energy Regional Specialist at IDB. “I liked the design, structure, topics, pace and content - it works very well for people like us at multilateral development banks, who have busy schedules.”
“A deeper knowledge on sustainability tools for hydropower is essential for our work in the region, as hydropower is still the largest electricity source in Latin America,” added Arturo Alarcón, senior energy specialist at IDB. “Currently we are supporting several rehabilitation and modernisation projects, and applying sustainability principles in infrastructure development, operation and maintenance is critical to guarantee the best use of our resources.”
IHA’s approach to training is centred around hands-on training and the sharing of technical know-how. IDB and IDB Invest staff reviewed and analysed case studies from previous assessments and engaged in interactive activities designed to build their confidence around the assessment process and solidify their knowledge of sustainability measurement.
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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.”
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.