Hydropower Europe launches as forum for region’s hydro community

14 February 2019

A new multi-partner initiative – led by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) and supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) – aims to agree common research and innovation priorities for the hydropower sector in Europe.

HYDROPOWER EUROPE is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to provide a forum for the European hydropower community and representatives active throughout the sector’s value-chain, including industry, researchers, policy makers, end users and academia.    

The three-year project will develop a strategic research and innovation agenda and technology roadmap to guide funding authorities, such as the European Commission, to prioritise support aimed at helping the hydropower sector adapt to a constantly evolving energy system.

According to IHA’s 2018 Hydropower Status Report, hydropower remains the single largest source of renewable electricity across Europe, generating an estimated 600 TWh of clean electricity in 2017 - about 12 per cent of Europe’s electricity generation.

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE initiative will begin consultation with the European hydropower community through a series of online and face to face meetings, including regional workshops to develop the research and innovation agenda and technology roadmap.

“We are thrilled by the new opportunity this project offers the hydropower community in Europe,” said Anton Schleiss, Honorary President of ICOLD.  “Our responsibility towards our sector is very high. We have the task to bring a multitude of actors together and bring their voice to the European level so as to make our contribution to the energy transition, for which hydropower in Europe can be a catalyst.”

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE initiative will be presented at a dedicated session at the World Hydropower Congress between 14 and 15 May 2019, which brings together senior representatives of industry, government, finance and civil society to set priorities for the future of the sector.

IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The transition to a low-carbon economy in Europe begins with the energy system. Hydropower will play an integral part in this transformation, reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and supporting growth in variable renewables such as wind and solar.

“This forum, HYDROPOWER EUROPE, will engage Europe’s hydropower community and foster communication and cooperation to align priorities in research and development (R&D) to support the pathway to a sustainable future.”

Mathis Rogner, IHA Senior Analyst, added: “By examining the unique set of policy, technological and scientific challenges facing the hydropower sector, HYDROPOWER EUROPE will look at new and innovative approaches to the development and application of technological and social processes as they relate to the energy transition.”

Led by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), HYDROPOWER EUROPE initiative partners are:

  • The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE)
  • The European Renewable Energy Federation
  • The European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF)
  • The Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC)
  • The International Hydropower Association (IHA)
  • SAMUI, which brings expertise in water and environmental research, and communication and dissemination
  • VGB PowerTech, the international technical association for generation and storage of power and heat
  • ZABALA, a consultancy in energy-related platforms as well as project dissemination and communication.

For more information please visit the HYDROPOWER EUROPE website: and

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