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The multiple roles of hydropower, and the relationship between renewable energy and water will be discussed during the celebrations of World Water Day on 20–21 March 2014 in Tokyo.

World Water DayThe event is organized by UN University and UNIDO on behalf of UN-Water. Hydropower (including pumped storage) is trending towards a role which is complementary to mixed energy systems, and hydro generation often acts as the buffer between supply and demand for electricity energy. 

Hydropower can also act as a frequency regulator and energy storage, and deliver a range of other ‘ancilliary’ benefits. Storing energy in water, which is one of the few efficient, proven and flexible methodology available at the utility scale, also provides benefits in terms of navigation, flood control and environmental services.

Working in partnership

We are collaborating with the UN-University FLORES and the Centre for Environmental Design of Renewable Energy (CEDREN) to bring together interested parties at World Water Day and the upcoming World Water Week in Stockholm (September 2014) 

The China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) and IHA extended their collaboration by renewing their co-operation agreement last week, 26 February.  The agreement lays out plans for mutually beneficial work in the next two years, and the continuation of the IHA China office, which is hosted by the institute.

The IHA China Office is the main point of contact for Chinese members and a primary platform for exchange between IHA and operators, developers, governmental and non-governmental organisations active in hydroelectricity in China. The office is involved in communications and outreach activities, as well as support for the sustainability and hydropower development work programmes.

The office will have a special role in the preparations of the next World Hydropower Congress, which will take place in Beijing, 18-22 May 2015.

About IWHR

The Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) is a reference research centre on water resources and hydropower in China.  The Institute is affiliated with the Ministry of Water Resources.  It is responsible for the research tasks encountered in major hydro projects, state five-year plan key programs of science and major programs funded by the Government of China.

At present, the institute has over 1,300 staff members, 12 research departments and 32 laboratories. You can find out more at

Some 20 senior representatives of our corporate members met in Brazil last week. The topics discussed included the development of hydropower in the Amazon region, the use of the Hydropower Sustainability Protocol in the early stages of project development, and the need to work closely with the agencies involved in the preparation of new projects.

Our team introduced the activities of the current working groups and ways in which members can get more involved in our activities. Following the briefing in Rio de Janeiro, we held several meetings with heads of member organisations; these included: CEMIG, COPEL, Eletrobras, Eletronorte, Eletrosul, Furnas, Light, Norte Energia and Tractebel Energia.

Additional meetings included the national Energy Research Office (EPE) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

For more information about upcoming members meeting contact us:  Kate Steel (IHA operations director) or Ricardo Krauskopf Neto (IHA South America office/Itaipu Binacional).

Earlier in 2013, we held a regional development workshop in Malaysia that brought together stakeholders from around the world to discuss key issues surrounding regional development. A report on the outcomes is now available for download

The workshop focused on how to manage trans-national river basins, how to encourage energy-intensive industries to locate close to hydro resources, and planning interconnections.

We are planning a further regional workshop in 2014 to continue to develop good practice in this area. 

Click here to download the report.

The Blanda hydropower project in Iceland has achieved an outstanding score in its application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Blanda is a 150MW hydroelectric power plant in north-west Iceland. It is owned and operated by Landsvirkjun and was commissioned in 1991.

The project achieved the maximum possible score in 14 of the 17 topics assessed by the Protocol, and exceeded basic good practice on the three remaining topics.

The assessment was carried out between August and October 2013, with a visit to the project site including interviews with stakeholders conducted in September.

You can see Blanda’s sustainability profile and download the full official assessment on the Protocol website.

About the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is an enhanced sustainability assessment tool used to measure and guide performance in the hydropower sector.

The protocol assesses the four main stages of hydropower development: Early Stage, Preparation, Implementation and Operation. Assessments rely on objective evidence to create a sustainability profile against some 20 topics depending on the relevant stage, covering all aspects of sustainability.

More information about the protocol.