Itaipu Binacional has confirmed that it will be a main sponsor of the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing.
The congress takes place on the 19-21 May, and will explore the future of hydropower, as well as looking at best practice case studies for a range of topics.
Itaipu Binacional’s role as main sponsor will involve contributing to the planning of the congress agenda, and providing financial support.
The company was established in 1974 to build and operate the Itaipu hydropower plant, which today provides 14 per cent of Brazil’s electricity and 79 per cent of Paraguay’s. It will bring expertise to the congress on areas relating to cross-border projects, sustainability, and a perspective on the future development of hydropower.
José Maria Sanchez Tilleria, Itaipu's Binacional's technical director, said: "Itaipu sees the World Hydropower Congress as the most relevant event in the world concerning sustainable hydropower. Helping IHA to foster hydropower sustainability around the globe is fully consistent with Itaipu's vision to pursue the best sustainability practices.
"Furthermore, the congress provides us an unmatchable learning and sharing opportunity. We strongly encourage our associates to participate in this event."
You can watch a video interview with Jorge Habib Hanna El Khouri, engineering superintendent at Itaipu Binacional, here.
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has been awarded a mark of excellence at the 2015 Association Excellence Awards in the category for best overall international association.
The inaugural awards took place in London on Friday 27 February, at a ceremony gathering around 300 representatives of a range of associations.
The awards distinguish individuals, teams and initiatives, recognising excellence in the way associations operate and serve their members. They emphasise best practice in running successful, responsible and sustainable associations, that also deliver high value to members.
IHA was also shortlisted in the categories for best website, and best training initiative for IHA Sustainability Partnerships.
You can find out more about the awards here.
Sarawak Energy and Hydro-Québec have agreed a memorandum of understanding to share experiences and conduct technical exchanges on hydropower development.
In the video above, Dr Chen Shiun, general manager of research and development at Sarawak Energy, discusses the partnership.
He says: "We think we will be able to learn a lot from the experience in terms of how to address environmental and social issues. This is why we have decided to form a memorandum of understanding – to share information.
"From the Hydro-Québec side, I think that they see that Sarawak has been active in the tropics. In the future there will be many projects in this kind of climate, and they will want to make an effort to contribute in generating new knowledge."
The two companies formed a relationship after meeting at a world congress organised by the International Hydropower Association in Brazil, in 2011. Now that exchanges have grown, the memorandum provides a more formal framework to conduct exchanges on greenhouse gas research profiles of reservoirs, enviornmental follow-up efforts and studies in aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, geomorphology and water quality.
The memorandum is for an initial period of three years, but Dr Chen Shiun says that following on from it "maybe we will discover something else we can share".
Nominations have opened for the forthcoming IHA Board elections, which will take place between May and July 2015.
The elections will determine the IHA Board members that will lead the association’s work in the 2015–17 period.
“We encourage our members to participate widely in these elections,” said Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA. “We are hoping for a strong field of candidates, reflecting the diversity of experience and expertise that exists in our membership throughout the world.”
Election candidates must be either be an individual member of IHA, or employed by a corporate member.
If elected, candidates must also be willing to contribute in meeting the shared responsibilities of the Board, and commit to attend the majority of its meetings. The Board meets three times every year.
How to stand as a candidate
To stand as a candidate in the IHA Board elections, you need to fill in a nomination form, which you can download here, to confirm your interest.
The schedule for the 2015 elections is as follows:
- 24 April: Closing date for candidate nominations
- 19 May: Candidates are presented at the IHA General Meeting in Beijing, China, at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress
- 12 June: Voting opens (ballot forms are distributed to members)
- 24 July: Deadline for voting closes
- 31 July: Election results are announced
- 21–23 September: First meeting of the new Board, London, UK
You can read our five-step guide to standing in the board elections here.
If you wish to stand for election, please send your completed nomination form to email@example.com, fax it to +44 208 643 5600, or post it to IHA Central Office, International Hydropower Association, Nine Sutton Court Road, Sutton, London, SM1 4SZ, UK.
On 1–5 December 2014, we hosted back-to-back workshops to transform knowledge on the greenhouse gas status of freshwater reservoirs into practical tools, bringing together leading scientists on the topic from around the world.
The first of the workshops, convened by IHA, focused on developing a screening tool to estimate the impact of a reservoir on the greenhouse gas exchanges that occur in a river basin.
The screening tool is expected to be launched at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing.
The second workshop, convened by IEA-Hydro, moved forward the development of modelling guidelines in relation to the study of the greenhouse gas status of reservoirs.
Atle Harby, director of the Centre for the Environmental Design of Renewables (CEDREN), attended both workshops. He said: “We have seen cases where we actually think a hydropower reservoir is acting as a greenhouse gas sink.
“If we can elaborate more on that and find out the best way to build hydropower, then it could really contribute by introducing renewables without creating more emissions.”
Li Chong of China Three Gorges Corporation, another perticipant, said: “We hope that we can evaluate the GHG emission of China’s large hydropower projects by getting to know this tool.
“Going forward, I hope we can reach a consensus on the modules, and help to promote our work relating to it.”
Tormod Schei, vice president and head of climate science at Statkraft, said: “We need to estimate this problem and get a quantitative grip on what is happening so we can give the correct picture.
“IHA is doing a very good job on trying to come up with the tools that can be used in this context.”
Dr Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy Berhad, said: “The first objective of the tool is to understand which projects are high-risk and which are low-risk, so we know which are the good projects to pursue.
“If we can figure out the parameters influencing the greenhouse gas status of ecosystems, then we can do a better job because we will be able to come up with mitigation measures to improve on it.”
Video interviews with participants will be available in January 2015.
UNESCO-IHP is convening a session on water quality and greenhouse gases at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing. Find out more here.