IHA Board member Malcolm Turnbull highlights the importance of hydropower to US Senate
Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull made a statement to the Budget Committee of the United States Senate on 10 May 2023.
Mr Turnbull delivered his statement in the capacity of a Board member for the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and as the Chairman of the Green Hydrogen Organisation.
Here are some of the highlights from Mr Turnbull’s statement and analysis about what this means for the hydropower sector:
- “It is very clear that an orderly transition to renewables and a zero emission energy sector will result in cheaper energy. It has to be planned of course, but in our country [Australia],the economic argument is over.”
Right now, renewables including hydropower can provide low-cost electricity across the world. According to IRENA’s Renewable Energy Power Generation report, in 2021 the “global weighted average LCOE of new utility-scale solar PV and hydropower was 11% lower than the cheapest new fossil fuel generation option.”
As renewables are the lowest cost form of energy in many markets, countries need to follow in Australia’s footsteps in creating the market and policy mechanisms to enable the growth of conventional and pumped storage hydropower.
- “In my view, at this stage, the most significant barrier is simply getting the infrastructure built; in particular transmission and long duration storage like pumped hydro which enable a renewable transition. Permitting delays in particular have the potential to hold things up.”
To reach net zero targets modelled by IEA and IRENA and avoid the devastating effects of 1.5C and 2C temperature rises, we need to rapidly increase the deployment of renewables.
For hydropower, it is estimated that to keep global warming below 1.5C more than 1,300 GW of additional hydropower will be needed.
“The clean energy transformation is accelerating and here in the United States the Inflation Reduction Act has supercharged it. Other nations, including my own, have to follow suit.”
At COP27, renewable organisations from across the renewable industries joined forces to help supercharge the clean energy transition to form the Global Renewables Alliance. One of the Alliance’s objectives is to ensure an accelerated energy transition worldwide, where vital targets are met with coordination and planning to help unlock the potential of renewables.
For updates on how the world is planning to include hydropower in future grids to enable the clean energy transition, the International Hydropower Association will release the first edition of the World Hydropower Outlook on the 7 June.
The Outlook will provide updates from the sector over the past year and provide a look forward to hydropower’s crucial role in future energy mixes.