You are here


20 March 2018

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) will share knowledge on hydropower’s role as a catalyst for sustainable development at the 8th World Water Forum this week in Brazil.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, will present at a session on water security and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Tuesday 20 March 2018. The panel is hosted by Itaipu Binacional and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

The panel will focus on the inter dependency between water and energy, highlighting the importance of integrated planning between the water and energy sectors and the main challenges and opportunities faced by companies and governments.

The World Water Forum in Brasilia comes as almost 1.1 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity while 2.1 billion are without safely managed water services.


Mr Taylor said: “Hydropower is part of the solution to the challenge of sustainable development, including the urgent need to provide people in developing countries with affordable, clean energy and water services.

“Hydropower reduces the world’s reliance on fossil fuels, supporting variable renewables through its dispatchable grid services and storage. It provides an effective water management capability to limit the impacts of drought and flooding, while also providing many economic and social benefits including poverty alleviation.”

The panel on 20 March organised by Itaipu Binacional and UN DESA comes after the two organisations signed a Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions partnership initiative earlier this month to find solutions to global energy and water challenges.

During his presentation, Mr Taylor will provide an overview of hydropower capacity, generation and potential worldwide, while discussing the need for a “system-needs approach” to shape future development.

Mr Taylor will discuss hydropower’s utilisation of water to support clean power systems and the need for storage and multiple freshwater services. He will also refer to innovations in hybrid projects and the complementarity of hydropower and other renewable technologies.

The 8th World Water Forum, in Brasilia from 18 to 23 March 2018, brings together representatives of governments, international organisations, business and civil society to discuss issues related to water and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Itaipu Binacional, a member of IHA, manages the Itaipu power plant on the Paraná River. The plant is responsible for supplying 15 per cent of all electricity consumed in Brazil and 82 per cent of Paraguay’s electricity.

Event information:

Water Security and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Panel
Tuesday, 20 March 2018, Conference Room 4, World Water Forum 2018, Brasilia, Brazil

Contact IHA:

To contact representatives of IHA at the World Water Forum please email

Find out more online:

Indonesia targets ‘more effective multi-stakeholder participation and better project preparation’

15 March 2018

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is supporting Indonesia to put sustainability principles into practice when developing new hydropower projects.

Since April 2017, IHA has been working with central and local government officials on how to apply the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, and coordinated an early stage assessment on a new project in southeast Sulawesi.

The IHA training and assessment project comes as the country aims to quadruple its installed hydropower capacity. Up to 65 new projects, representing an additional 15 GW of hydropower capacity, are planned to meet renewable energy targets.

Concluding this round of work, the results of the Pelosika assessment – the first Indonesian hydropower project to be reviewed under the Protocol – were discussed at a high-level event between 20 and 22 February in Jakarta, Indonesia, attended by more than 80 government officials and external stakeholders.


The event, titled ‘Early stage hydropower sustainability assessments and capacity building on sustainable hydropower in Indonesia’, was co-organised by IHA and the government. It provided a platform to review hydropower’s place in national development as well as commitment to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement. 

One of Indonesia’s goals is to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 23 per cent by 2025, and 31 per cent by 2050, as it is currently heavily reliant on coal and other non-renewable resources.

Hydropower is the country’s largest source of renewable energy, with an installed capacity of more than 5 GW.

The training programme and Pelosika assessment were carried out by IHA at the request of the National Development Planning Ministry of Indonesia (Bappenas), after funding was provided by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO).

“Indonesia is on the path to installing an additional 15 GW of hydropower capacity and 65 multipurpose dams by 2025," said Pak Abdul Malik, Director for Irrigation and Water Resources at Bappenas. “The implementation of the Protocol during the Pelosika dam project’s early stage was an important milestone, which has led to more effective multi-stakeholder participation and better project preparation. I look forward to implementing the Protocol again at other stages.”


Frank Faraday, IHA’s Sustainability Programme Manager, said: “Building knowledge on the Protocol in Indonesia has been a great achievement. The next phase is helping the government to channel the experience gained from Pelosika’s assessment into the development of future projects.”

Speakers at the Jakarta event included Pak Wismana Adisuryabrata, Bappenas’s Deputy of Infrastructure Affairs; Martin Stottele, Head of Economic Development Cooperation SECO at the Embassy of Switzerland in Indonesia; and Richard Taylor, CEO of the International Hydropower Association.

The high-level meeting was followed with workshops on finance and investment, including social and environmental requirements, regional grid planning, interconnections and the role of hydropower in smart grid stability.

To find out more about IHA’s involvement in applying the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol at Pelosika, please read Sustainability Specialist Joao Costa’s blog on developing sustainable hydropower in Indonesia

Find out more about the Protocol:

27 February 2018

The International Hydropower Association’s Activity and Strategy Report for 2017-2018 is now available online.

The publication outlines IHA’s priorities and actions to advance sustainable hydropower while providing an annual update on the progress of its knowledge building and sustainability programmes.

Writing in the report’s foreword, IHA President Ken Adams and IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor highlight the contribution of IHA’s members to delivering on international climate and development goals.

“Providing enough clean power for a billion people, hydropower is helping to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement by reducing our reliance on sources with harmful emissions,” Mr Adams and Mr Taylor write.

“With its economic benefits, its supporting services for other renewables, and freshwater management capability, hydropower also acts as an accelerator for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The report outlines the work of IHA in advancing policies and strategies that strengthen the sector’s performance and delivering value to members.

Tools launched over the past year include the G-res Tool for reporting GHG emissions, the Sediment Management Knowledge Hub to help extend the life of reservoirs, and the Pumped Storage Tracking Tool to showcase hydropower’s capacity to provide clean storage solutions.

IHA priorities for 2018 include the better definition of hydropower’s role in clean energy systems and regional interconnections, unlocking funding for sustainable hydropower projects through green bonds, and promoting new project preparation facilities.

Knowledge building programmes:

  • Clean energy systems: expanding hydropower’s role
  • Regional interconnections: connecting hydropower
  • Hydropower preparation facility: a model for sustainable projects
  • Green bonds: unlocking the market
  • Climate mitigation: assessing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Climate resilience: developing guidelines
  • Hydropower benefits: better reporting
  • River basin development: promoting collaboration
  • Operations and maintenance: understanding strategies
  • Modernisation: building knowledge on innovation
  • Sediment management: identifying good practices
  • The status of hydropower: monitoring the sector

Sustainability programmes

  • Supporting the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol
  • Overseeing training and accreditation
  • Developing complementary tools and guidelines
  • Recognising performance through the IHA Blue Planet Prize

In addition to the IHA membership directory, the report includes information about the next World Hydropower Congress in Paris between 14-16 May 2019. It also showcases highlights from the 2017 Congress in Addis Ababa and IHA’s awards programme.

“IHA’s success rests on a sense of common purpose among its members, and the collaboration, openness and spirit of friendship at the heart of our global network,” write Mr Adams and Mr Taylor.

Read the IHA Activity and Strategy Report 2017-2018

14 February 2018

The Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station in Iceland has become the power company Landsvirkjun’s third project to be assessed under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

The plant, which has an installed capacity of 690 MW, was assessed against 17 categories in September 2017, achieving proven best practice scores in eleven, including biodiversity and invasive species, communications and consultation, and reservoir management.

In a statement, the company said: “The results showed that operations at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station are largely considered to be of highest standard with regard to the sustainable utilisation of hydroelectric power.

“Many of the other working practices at the station were considered to be of the highest possible quality.”

Image for article.png

Of the six remaining categories assessed, four were deemed to demonstrate international good practice and two were considered to be non-applicable.

Fljótsdalur follows the Hvammur Hydropower Station and the Blanda Hydropower Station, which were assessed under the Protocol in 2012 and 2013 respectively, with the latter being awarded the IHA Blue Planet Prize at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress. 

A fourth Landsvirkjun plant, the Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station, was also assessed in 2017, during the testing process of the Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which is being developed based on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

The Protocol was launched in 2011 and has become the leading international tool for measuring the sustainability of hydropower projects, having been applied in more than 25 countries. It offers a way to assess the performance of a hydropower project across more than 20 sustainability topics.

Protocol assessments are based on objective evidence and the results are presented in a standardised way, making it easy to see how existing facilities are performing and how well new projects are being developed.

Find out more:

14 February 2018

Governments will review the United Nations goal on sustainable energy at a major summit in Bangkok, Thailand, next week.

The Global SDG7 Conference, at which the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is hosting a side-event on hydropower, will allow policy-makers to take stock of progress to boost energy access.

Sustainable Development Goal 7, which was agreed by world leaders at the UN in 2015 along with 16 other goals, aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.

Despite its adoption, the UN estimates that 1.06 billion people, predominantly rural dwellers, still do not have access to electricity. Half of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Image for article.png

Ahead of the Bangkok conference between 21 and 23 February 2018, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and Norad have urged countries to recognise hydropower’s significant role in efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Jon Lomøy, Director General of Norad, described the conference as “an important platform to mobilise the global energy community” to take action.

“To achieve SDG7 we need to enable the whole spectrum of renewable technologies and resources. Hydropower is a perfect match with wind and solar power to ensure high quality energy supply. Hydropower is therefore part of the solution for sustainable development.”

“The Norwegian Government is highly committed to the 2030 Agenda and we welcome this conference organised by UN DESA,” he said.

The conference comes as a major report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found hydropower remains the world’s lowest-cost source of renewable electricity, at a global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of US$0.05 per kWh.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), said: “As the lowest-cost renewable energy technology, hydropower remains at the centre of international efforts to decarbonise and transition to a clean energy future.

“The Global SDG7 Conference is a significant moment for countries to take stock and recognise hydropower’s role, working together with other renewables, in national plans to achieve affordable, sustainable energy.”

The conference will give policy-makers and stakeholders the opportunity to identify trends and gaps in progress towards the goal, and look at finance, capacity-building and innovation. It will be followed by a high-level political forum in New York in July, during which strategies will be discussed for accelerating progress on goals for energy, water and sanitation, cities, and the environment.

The Norad side-event between 16:30-18:00 on 21 February is entitled ‘Hydropower: part of the solution for sustainable development’. The event at UN ESCAP headquarters will provide examples of institutional cooperation between Norway, Myanmar and Nepal.

Speakers include: Norway’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Marianne Hagen; Norad Asssistant Director for Climate, Energy, Environment and Research Oernulf Stroem; and Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and Energy Assistant Director Pauk Kyaing Sahm.

Next year the World Hydropower Congress in Paris, between 14 and 16 May 2019, will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information on the Global SDG7 Conference organised by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), please visit the event website.