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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.”

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.

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).


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.

28 July 2020

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

If you or your organisation are interested in booking an online Certified User Training, please contact

15 July 2020

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