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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is embarking on an ambitious new strategy and work plan to support socially and environmentally responsible hydropower projects.


Board 2019-2019


At its meeting in London, between 20-21 September 2017, the IHA’s newly elected board approved the organisation’s programme of research and activities for the next two years.

The IHA’s reputation as a pioneer in promoting good practices is set to be further strengthened as it develops new guidelines and tools for companies and investors based on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Twelve topics - including clean energy systems, climate bonds, climate resilience and climate mitigation, water footprint, river basin development, modernisation and sediment management – will form the bedrock of IHA’s research, analysis and capacity-building support to members.

IHA was formed in 1995 to champion sustainable practices within the hydropower sector. Over that time, the world’s installed hydroelectric capacity has almost doubled from 625 GW to 1,246 GW, according to IHA’s Hydropower Status Report.

“Over the next two years I expect IHA to remain the world's leading, go-to organisation on sustainable hydropower development,” said board member Sharbini Suhaili, group chief executive of Sarawak Energy, speaking after the meeting.

Mr Suhaili predicted that hydropower projects which adopt the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, supported by new guidelines and tools under development, will be “deemed green” by financial institutions and host governments.

Another new board member, Moisés Machava, executive director of Hidroelétrica de Cahora Bassa, said: “In Africa there is huge potential hydropower capacity. The tools that IHA is preparing will be a very important boost around the world. Further capacity-building and performance benchmarking will add value to IHA’s membership.”

At the London board meeting, IHA’s president, Ken Adams, was re-elected as president for a third consecutive term, along with five vice presidents. Read more about the new members joining IHA’s board.

IHA’s 12 research topics for 2017-2019:

  • Clean energy systems
  • Climate mitigation
  • Climate resilience
  • Green bonds
  • Hydropower benefits
  • Hydropower preparation support facility
  • Modernisation
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Regional interconnections
  • River basin development
  • Sediment management
  • Water footprint

2017 IHA Board elections call for candidatesWe are pleased to announce the result of the 2017-2019 IHA Board elections. Over recent weeks, our members were encouraged to vote for their 18 preferred candidates, who will form the IHA Board for the period up to September 2019.

Following the deadlines for receiving completed ballot forms, the votes have now been counted and witnessed by the association’s auditor.

The list below indicates the elected candidates according to the regions they represent.


  • Mr Moisés Machava – executive director, Hidroelétrica de Cahora Bassa

  • Mr Segomoco Scheppers – senior general manager, Eskom

America – North and Central

  • Mr Ken Adams - independent consultant

  • Ms Christine Cantin - senior advisor, Hydro-Québec

  • Mr Colin Clark - chief technical officer, Brookfield Renewable

America – South

  • Mr Gil Maranhão Neto - chief strategy, communications and CSR officer, Engie Brasil

  • Mr Luiz Fernando Leone Vianna - director general, Brazil, Itaipu Binacional

Asia 1 (south and central)

  • Mr Awadh Giri - founder and CEO, HydrofE3

  • Mr Evgeniy Tikhonov - strategy and development director, EuroSibEnergo JSC

Asia 2 (east and Pacific)

  • Ms Tammy Chu - Entura managing director, Hydro Tasmania

  • Mr Roger Gill - independent consultant

  • Mr Lin Chuxue - executive vice president, China Three Gorges Corporation

  • Mr Sharbini Suhaili - group CEO, Sarawak Energy Berhad


  • Mr Antoine Badinier - deputy vice president, hydropower generation and engineering division, EDF

  • Mr Tron Engebrethsen - senior vice president, Statkraft AS

  • Mr Yves Rannou - president and CEO, GE Renewable Energy

  • Dr Óli Grétar Blöndal Sveinsson – executive vice president, research and development, Landsvirkjun

  • Mr Uwe Wehnhardt – president and CEO, Voith Hydro

The first meeting of the new Board will take place in London on 20-21 September 2017, where the Board will select the president and vice presidents for the 2017-2019 period, and confirm the strategy and priorities for the association over the next two years.

We take this opportunity to thank our members for their participation in the voting process, and to congratulate the elected candidates. We look forward to working with our new Board members. 

The IHA Board meeting in London on 19-20 July 2017 was an opportunity for the outgoing Board to review activities for the 2015-2017 period and provide recommendations for the future. 

IHA BoardThe current IHA Board met for the sixth time in the two-year cycle which concludes in September. The meeting was an opportunity to review the association’s activities over the past two years and to look ahead to the 2017-2019 period.

Elections are currently underway for the new Board, which will be in place for its first meeting on 20-21 September.

Accompanying a changing sector

The last two years of intense activity within IHA culminated in the 2017 World Hydropower Congress, where some 650 participants from our membership and the wider hydropower community discussed key areas of our work, from measuring greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower activities to building capacity and addressing skills shortages in the sector.

The congress took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9-11 May 2017.

IHA has also been building new partnerships across the sector, which has enabled us to be present at a range of events where hydropower is on the agenda, notably in China, Africa and South America.

Our ambitious work programme is enabling us to position IHA as the go-to organisation in the sector, recognising our role in building and sharing knowledge on a broad range of topics, such as climate resilience, sediment management and sustainability performance.

Among the key achievements highlighted to the Board were our contribution to reporting on the sector, and our ‘Better Hydro’ initiative.

Our current activities are part of a wider 2020 set of targets aiming at improving the association’s visibility, impact and service to members.

New cycle of work

The 2017-2019 strategy will shape our activities over the coming two-year period, guiding our hydropower development, sustainability, membership and communications activities.

This meeting was an opportunity for outgoing Board members to share their thoughts on the new strategy, which will be reviewed and adopted by the incoming Board in September.

Ahead of the July meeting, Board members were invited to participate in two in-depth workshops, on the World Hydropower Congress and on sustainability assessment.

Ken Adams, IHA president, thanks those outgoing members of the Board who contributed to previous activities but are not seeking re-election: Roy Adair; Mike McWilliams; Roland Münch; José María Sánchez Tillería; Wolfgang Semper; Torstein Dale Sjøtveit; and Igor Zhezhel.

Review of hydropower activities around the world  

The Board meeting is also an opportunity for members to report on their own activities. The Board includes 18 elected members, representing six regions worldwide. A number of observers, representing IHA platinum corporate member companies, development agencies and governments are also invited to attend the meetings.

The results of the IHA Board elections will be announced on 7 August. Members who have not yet voted should note the deadline of 2 August and click here for further information.

For more information on the current IHA Board, please click here

Three French energy associations, representing hydropower producers across France, have described seven steps they believe will boost France’s hydropower sector.

photo damThe Union Francaise de l’Électricité (French Electricity Union), Syndicat des Énergies Renouvelables (Renewable Energy Syndicate) and France Hydro Electricité published a white paper, Hydropower at the crossroads: giving new momentum to the number one renewable energy, setting out the proposals on 27 June 2017.

According to the organisations, these steps should ‘maintain, sustain and develop’ France’s number one renewable electricity source, with a view to boosting the energy transition at home and abroad. The paper calls on the French government to take steps to grow hydropower’s share in the energy mix, with a view to achieving the commitments of the Paris Agreement and the 2015 French energy transition law for green growth.

Hydropower currently provides 60 per cent of France’s renewable energy, and plays a major role in greening the energy mix nationally, regionally and globally.

However, a slowing market and increasing regulation is putting pressure on the sector, which the organisations behind the paper are concerned could have a negative impact on the energy transition. In response, they have set out the following steps, across three themes:  

  • Coordinating national and European policies for better alignment, including: (1) ensuring coherence of policies; (2) assessing the real impact of proposed policies; and (3) improving dialogue and consultation.
  • Ensuring economic decisions and tax frameworks incentivise the maintenance and development of hydropower, including: (4) relieving the local tax burden on hydropower development; and (5) establishing a stable and incentivising economic framework.
  • Recognising the true value of services delivered to the electricity system, by: (6) establishing an economic model to support pumped storage systems; and (7) recognising the services hydropower delivers to the electricity system in terms of supply-demand balance and security.

Click here to read the white paper, Hydroélectricité à la croisée des Chemins: donnons un nouvel élan à la première des énergies renouvelables, in full (FR). 

The first assessment of the Hydropower Assessment Protocol in Costa Rica will be carried out at the Reventazón project, currently the largest facility in Central America. The World Bank selected the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad – ICE) to apply the protocol at Reventazón, with the first site on 22-27 May.

Dam Reventazon Costa RicaLaunched at the World Hydropower Congress in 2011, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a tool to evaluate the sustainability of hydropower projects, and can be used at all stages of project development, from preparation through to operation. It has so far been used in over 25 sites around the world.

The assessment is being led by the Canadian firm Golder Associates, and the first visit involved an introductory and technical workshop on 23-25 May with participation from state institutions, developers, NGOs, and other hydropower stakeholders.

Carlos Obregón, executive president of ICE, said: “The projects selected for this purpose must demonstrate a high level of commitment and achievement, which puts Reventazón in an elite group in the Latin American region. We hope this assessment will strengthen the project’s credentials as a leader in socio-environmental management, as it has done for other international organisations”.

IHA, with support from the World Bank, recently launched a collection of case studies, ‘Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies’, which features Reventazón as an example of the implementation of a broader initiative to offset biodiversity impacts.

The evaluation should conclude in September 2017, culminating in a seminar in November where the results will be shared.