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10 November 2017 - Paris will host the next World Hydropower Congress between 14 and 16 May 2019, the International Hydropower Association announced today.

The biennial event sets priorities for the future direction of the hydropower sector. It brings together leaders from business, industry, government, finance, UN agencies, academia and civil society organisations.


The seventh World Hydropower Congress is to be hosted in partnership with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme.

With the theme of ‘The Power of Water for a Sustainable World’, the Congress will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, made the World Hydropower Congress announcement at the United Nations COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

“Two years ago, world leaders in Paris made the historic commitment to limit global warming. We expect the hydropower community to bring the same resolve to realising the ambition of the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Mr Taylor was speaking at a special event on the water-energy nexus, hosted by the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat and Itaipu Binacional on 10 November.

Building on the 2017 World Hydropower Congress, which was hosted at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, up to 100 countries are expected to be represented at the Congress in 2019.

Notes to Editors:

Installed hydropower capacity worldwide has surpassed 1,250 GW, equivalent to supplying more than a billion people with clean energy. Hydropower makes up over two-thirds of all renewable electricity produced today.

The International Hydropower Association was created in 1995 under the auspices of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, whose headquarters are in Paris.

IHA is a founding member of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance) along with partners from the bioenergy, geothermal, solar and wind industries. 

Interactive tool for tracking pumped storage hydropower projects launched by IHA at COP23 climate conference

9 November 2017 - More than 100 pumped storage hydropower projects totalling some 75 GW of new capacity are in the pipeline around the world, according to a new online resource launched today in Bonn, Germany.



The new Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool – developed by the International Hydropower Association – maps the locations and vital statistics of existing and planned projects.

According to the tracking tool, the 100 planned projects will increase existing global storage capacity by 50 per cent, from 150 GW to almost 225 GW. The first of these projects will come on line in 2018, and the majority will be operational by 2030.

Known as the world’s ‘water batteries’, pumped storage hydropower is the cleanest and most cost-effective form of energy storage existing today. It makes up more than 95 per cent of global energy storage, next to less than five per cent combined for thermal, electromechanical and electrochemical storage, including lithium batteries.

The Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool is designed for policy-makers, investors and researchers. It shows the status of a pumped storage project, its installed generating and pumping capacity, and its actual or planned date of commissioning.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, announced the tool at the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

“Pumped storage is the cleanest battery on earth, simply cycling water between two water bodies at different elevations. It takes surplus electricity in the system and stores it for use when it is needed. Switching between modes of pumping and generating in seconds, it ensures that renewables generation is not curtailed in the electricity system, and supply and demand are harmonised.” Mr Taylor said.

“This tracking tool is the most comprehensive online resource of its kind. It shines a light on the enormous contribution of pumped storage to meeting the battery demands of clean energy systems, with very high efficiency.”

The latest pumped storage technology offers essential ancillary services such as electric frequency control and voltage regulation, in order to ensure stable and reliable operation of power grids. Along with conventional hydro, it is also a leading solution for restarting a grid after a black-out.

Notes to Editors:

In 2016, worldwide hydropower development grew steadily, with an estimated 31.5 GW of new capacity added. This includes 6.4 GW of pumped storage, nearly twice the amount installed in 2015, and brings the world’s total installed hydro capacity to 1,246 GW. IHA estimates current total installed pumped storage capacity at 150 GW. Read more in the 2017 Hydropower Status Report.

Find the Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool here:

For further information about the tool, please contact Mathis Rogner, Senior Hydropower Analyst at IHA:
Tel: +44 7827 334541; Email:

For media enquiries, please contact Will Henley, Head of Communications at IHA: 
Tel: +44 7507 661755; Email:

International Hydropower Association

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation formed in 1995. 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. 

IHA was a pioneer of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and is actively involved with academic, financial, governmental and non-governmental partners in promoting international industry good practice. Find out more:

Join the discussion on Twitter: @iha_org#hydropower

New York, 3 November 2017

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, addressed a United Nations symposium on sustainable energy this week, alongside UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The forum, entitled ‘Building Global Energy Interconnection, Promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, saw a range of presentations on how to harness renewable electricity to support human development.
Mr Taylor emphasised that renewables - including hydropower - are fundamental to delivering clean power, heat and transport systems, without which many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would not be achieved. 
“Joining up renewable resources through regional and, ultimately, global systems will ensure the most efficient and sustainable energy services are available for all," he said.
Hydropower already generates enough renewable electricity to supply more than a billion people. At the same time, through its operational flexibility and storage services, hydropower complements the increased input from other forms of clean energy.
In his speech, Secretary-General Guterres described energy as “the golden thread” that connects all the SDGs. “Modern energy services are integral to poverty reduction, food security, public health and quality education for all. They are the key to sustainable industrialisation, healthier more efficient cities and — of course — successful climate action. 
“Despite this understanding, the world is still far from achieving the vision of Sustainable Development Goal 7 of affordable and clean energy for all,” he said.
Some 1 billion people still live without any access to any electricity, including 500 million in Africa and more than 400 million in the Asia‑Pacific region, the Secretary-General noted.
“So, the world needs more energy, and — in particular — more clean energy,” the Secretary-General added.
During the symposium on 1 November 2017 at UN headquarters in New York, Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO, said major challenges such as resources shortage, environmental pollution and climate change pose a threat to the survival of humankind, adding that accelerating energy transformation is the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda targets.
In his presentation, Mr Taylor also highlighted the Reventazón hydropower station in Costa Rica, which contributes to the Central American Electricity Interconnection System (SIEPAC). He said that “SIEPAC has really begun to deliver for the region, bringing clean, cheaper and more affordable electricity to the six participating countries.
He added that “the contribution of Reventazón to Costa Rica and the whole of Central America is a shining example of sustainable hydropower development”. 


San José, Costa Rica, 28 September 2017 - The Reventazón project in Costa Rica, the largest hydropower plant in Central America, has been classed as an example of international good practice in hydropower sustainability.

It is the first hydropower plant in the region to undergo an official assessment under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a tool which examines a project's performance against social, environmental and governance criteria.

Irene Canas.jpg

Irene Canas Costa Rica
The plant on the Reventazón river, inaugurated on 16 September 2016, was designed, developed and built by the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE). It has an installed capacity of 305.5 MW.

The results of the assessment were announced on 27 September 2017 during an international workshop on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in San José represented by experts from 22 countries. The workshop was organised by the World Bank, the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) and the Ministry of the Environment (MINAE).

“We are delighted to receive the results, which reinforce the good practices we implemented during the construction of the plant. Reventazón is a source of pride for the country, and is now among a select group of projects with this level of recognition,” said Carlos Manuel Obregón, executive vice president of ICE.

During the workshop participants recounted their experiences of applying the Protocol in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Iceland, Nepal, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Launched in 2011, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multistakeholder body comprising IHA and representatives of the World Bank, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders. 

“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol offers a common language for the multiple sectors and stakeholders involved in hydropower development to work together towards sustainability.”

Irene Cañas, Vice Minister of Environment and Energy for Costa Rica's Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), said: “The implementation of the Protocol is a clear sign of the commitment we’ve made as a country towards securing a sustainable and low-carbon economy. Evidence shows it’s possible to achieve an electricity supply based on renewables with a strong focus on environmental, social and economic concerns."

Reventazón achieved or exceeded good practice across all 19 assessment topics and received best practice scores on its management of communications and consultation, resettlement, public health, biodiversity and invasive species, and waste, noise and air quality.

“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol offers a common language for the multiple sectors and stakeholders involved in hydropower development to work together towards sustainability,” said Richard Taylor, CEO of IHA. 

“This workshop is an opportunity to share experiences of the Protocol’s application at hydropower projects around the world, to look at those good practices which should be recognised and emulated, and to assist project managers in focusing their efforts on continuous improvement.”

The Protocol allows for evaluation of a hydropower project at different stages of development, from planning, to implementation and through to operation. In Reventazón’s case, the assessment was carried out under contract by the World Bank, and evaluated 19 technical, environmental, social and business-related topics during the construction phase of the plant.

“Tools like the Protocol, together with international financing institutions’ safeguarding and performance policies, help strengthen the environmental, social and safety management of hydropower development, and reduce the impact on communities and the environment,” said Ruth Tiffer Sotomayor, Senior Environmental Specialist at the World Bank Group.

She added that: “The workshop is an opportunity to exchange experience on the Protocol’s application in different regions around the world, to share good practices, and ultimately to improve the environmental and social management of projects.”

Find out more about the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Visit the workshop website at:

The Reventazón project is featured in our 'Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies 2017'. Download the publication here, or read more about the project on our blog, here

Ken Adams was re-elected for a third consecutive term as president of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), at the organisation’s September 2017 board meeting in London.

Ken Adams and Richard Taylor at Board Meeting 74 - 20 Se 2017 - web.jpg

Ken Adams at IHA Board Meeting, 20 September 2017

Mr Adams, a consultant and former vice president of Manitoba Hydro with more than 40 years’ of industry experience, said: "It is a great honour to be re-elected as president of IHA at a time of immense opportunity in the hydropower sector.

"The whole IHA team, the board and staff, look forward to supporting our diverse and growing membership to build knowledge and embed sustainability principles and practices across the globe."

The inaugural meeting of IHA’s 2017-2019 board saw the adoption of a new strategy and work plan for the organisation and the election of five vice presidents.

New board members include Moisés Machava, executive director of Hidroelétrica de Cahora Bassa (Mozambique), Evgeniy Tikhonov, strategy and development director for EuroSibEnergo JSC (Russia), Sharbini Suhaili, group chief executive for Sarawak Energy (Malaysia), and Luiz Fernando Leone Vianna, director general of Itaipu Binacional (Brazil). 

The composition of the 18-member board, which brings together leading organisations in the hydropower sector, was announced last month following a ballot of IHA’s membership

IHA vice presidents:

  • Antoine Badinier - deputy vice president, hydropower generation and engineering division, EDF (Europe)
  • Lin Chuxue - executive vice president, China Three Gorges Corporation (Asia, East and Pacific)
  • Colin Clark - chief technical officer, Brookfield Renewable (America, North and Central)
  • Roger Gill - independent consultant (Asia, East and Pacific)
  • Gil Maranhão Neto - chief strategy, communications and CSR officer, Engie Brasil (America, South)

Speaking after the board meeting between 20-21 September 2017, Mr Tikhonov said EuroSibEnergo, one of the world’s largest privately owned hydropower companies, is “delighted” to have joined IHA. “We share the same values of responsible and sustainable development of hydropower. Russia possesses the world’s second-largest hydropower resources and we believe that its incremental utilisation, in accordance with the highest environmental standards, will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change,” he said.

Mr Machava commented: “IHA is an organisation which is willing to strive to create a world where the water and energy services are delivered to all in a sustainable way. To be a new member of the board, representing Africa, means that I have a challenge and opportunity to learn and share knowledge. It is a great pleasure to join this brilliant international team for such a noble mission.”

Mr Suhaili said: “I am proud and honoured to be a board member of IHA, an organisation with enormous potential to help create a better future for the next generation.”


Board 2019-2019

Read about IHA’s new board members.