The fifth International Training Workshop on Planning, Construction and Operation Management of Small and Medium Hydropower Stations was recently held in Changsha, the capital of central China’s Hunan province. The three-week workshop concluded on 31 October 2015.
Sponsored by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), this event was organised and hosted by HNAC Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese equipment manufacturer specialising in the water and energy sectors.
26 participants from 13 countries travelled to Changsha to take part in the workshop, including company directors, managers, engineers and government officials.
The primary objective of the workshop was to train industry professionals and boost hydropower development around the world. The course included lectures and discussion, as well as site visits and practical investigations.
Another objective was to increase communication between different countries to facilitate the exchange of knowledge about hydropower technology and the development of small and medium hydropower stations.
A new network was formed during the workshop. The South Asian Experts’ Network on Renewable Energy (SAENORE) was launched by eight of the workshop participants from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has sponsored a number of international workshops on various technical subjects since 1989. The aim is to promote scientific and technical progress through international exchange, particularly within the developing world.
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has been re-elected to the steering committee of the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). Elections took place during the 16th REN21 steering committee meeting and general assembly on 7 October 2015 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
These meetings were attended by Richard Taylor, IHA’s chief executive, who was among the distinguished individuals elected to the new committee. Representing REN21’s diverse membership, the steering committee is composed of individuals drawn from international organisations, national governments, NGOs, research institutions and industry associations.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank (ADB) are also all represented in the new steering committee.
REN21 is a global multi-stakeholder network which provides policy leadership and authoritative information to facilitate the increased penetration of renewables into energy systems across the world. The network supports international policy and decision making by providing high quality information on renewables, while fostering productive debate and dialogue.
IHA’s re-election to the REN21 steering committee confirms hydropower’s role in the renewables family. Hydropower can enable the greater penetration of other renewable technologies. As an energy storage technology, and because of the speed at which hydropower plants can bring power online, hydropower is an essential element in renewable energy systems which include less predictable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Hidroelectrica, the Romanian state-owned power generation company, will transfer 32 small hydropower plants by open outcry auction, either to the private sector or to local communities in Romania. Together the assets to be sold represent around 26 MW of installed capacity.
The auctions will take place on 23–26 November 2015, although prospective buyers must secure the relevant tender dossiers by 13 November 2015.
Buyers will be required to fulfil certain requirements after the purchase is made. These include maintaining electricity generation at the site, conforming to requirements of the Romanian energy sector regulator, as well as meeting social and environmental obligations.
You can view details of the auction process and how to participate here.
Hidroelectrica, the Romanian state-owned hydropower company, held an inauguration ceremony on 10 September following the completion of the country’s longest headrace tunnel built since 1984, representing an investment of more than EUR 150 million.
The tunnel is part of the Surduc-Siriu hydropower project, initiated in 1981, which spans the Buzău, Bâsca Mare, Bâsca Mică rivers in the Buzău, Covasna and Vrancea counties. The Surduc-Nehoiașu tunnel will deliver water from the Surduc storage reservoir to the Nehoiașu powerhouse.
At approximately 16.6 km in length, the tunnel has a diameter of 4 m and a discharge capacity of 40 m3 per second. Its concrete lining is 30–35 cm thick.
Breaking another record for Hidroelectrica, it will allow for the highest hydraulic head, currently under construction, in the company’s portfolio – about 490 m.
The completion of the Surduc-Nehoiaşu bypass will enable Hidroelectrica to increase capacity at the Nehoiașu powerhouse. The new plant will have an installed capacity of 55 MW and will generate, on average, around 172 GWh of electricity each year.
This is comparable to the Nehoiaşu I power station, which has an installed capacity of 42 MW delivered by two generating units, and an average generational output of around 121 GWh per year. This older plant was commissioned in 1988.
The value of the Surduc-Nehoiașu project will reach around RON 850 million (about EUR 189 million), with the rest of the project expected to cost around RON 250 million (about EUR 57 million).
Moving forward, Hidroelectrica is preparing to implement the rest of a substantial investment plan for 2015-2020.
The company’s budget for development, upgrades and maintenance in this period is over EUR 1.3 billion, including EUR 450 million for new hydropower projects, EUR 305 million for upgrades and refurbishments at existing plants and EUR 240 million for maintenance works.
Hidroelectrica also has plans to invest some EUR 300 million in the development of complementary renewable technologies, such as wind and solar power.
Ken Adams has been re-selected president of the International Hydropower Association during the first meeting of the association’s new board in London.
Mr Adams has already served a two-year term as IHA president between 2013 and 2015, having been first elected to the IHA Board in 2005.
“It has been a great privilege to serve as IHA’s president,” he said. “I am looking forward to continuing leading on IHA’s governance over the next two years, at a time of exciting transition and growth for the hydropower sector.
"The association is working towards amibitious goals for 2020. We will increase our efforts to build consensus and share knowledge on the sustainable development of hydropower worldwide, and support the sector to do business better."
Mr Adams has over 40 years of experience in the Canadian electricity sector, including his previous role as senior vice president for power supply at Manitoba Hydro. He also spent several years on the faculty of engineering at the University of Manitoba.
He was the first chair of both the Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership and the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership, two hydropower projects managed cooperatively between Manitoba Hydro and First Nation communities.
The following candidates were also appointed by the board as IHA’s vice presidents for the 2015–17 period:
- Colin Clark, chief technical officer, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group
- Roger Gill, international consultant
- Lin Chuxue, executive vice president, China Three Gorges Corporation
- Roland Münch, chairman, Hydro Equipment Association
- Gil Maranhão Neto, director of business development, Engie
- Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, CEO, Sarawak Energy Berhad
The new Board is meeting for the first time during 22–23 September, after being elected by members earlier in 2015.
The meeting includes discussion on the strategy, priorities and work programme of the association for the next two years, as well as the strategic goals for 2020.
The new president and vice presidents will lead the IHA Board for a two-year term, until September 2017.