IHA hosts greenhouse gases workshops

On 1–5 December 2014, we hosted back-to-back workshops to transform knowledge on the greenhouse gas status of freshwater reservoirs into practical tools, bringing together leading scientists on the topic from around the world.

Greenhouse gases workshops

The first of the workshops, convened by IHA, focused on developing a screening tool to estimate the impact of a reservoir on the greenhouse gas exchanges that occur in a river basin.

The screening tool is expected to be launched at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing.

The second workshop, convened by IEA-Hydro, moved forward the development of modelling guidelines in relation to the study of the greenhouse gas status of reservoirs.

Atle Harby, director of the Centre for the Environmental Design of Renewables (CEDREN), attended both workshops. He said: “We have seen cases where we actually think a hydropower reservoir is acting as a greenhouse gas sink.

“If we can elaborate more on that and find out the best way to build hydropower, then it could really contribute by introducing renewables without creating more emissions.”

Li Chong of China Three Gorges Corporation, another perticipant, said: “We hope that we can evaluate the GHG emission of China’s large hydropower projects by getting to know this tool.

“Going forward, I hope we can reach a consensus on the modules, and help to promote our work relating to it.”

Tormod Schei, vice president and head of climate science at Statkraft, said: “We need to estimate this problem and get a quantitative grip on what is happening so we can give the correct picture.

“IHA is doing a very good job on trying to come up with the tools that can be used in this context.”

Dr Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy Berhad, said: “The first objective of the tool is to understand which projects are high-risk and which are low-risk, so we know which are the good projects to pursue.

“If we can figure out the parameters influencing the greenhouse gas status of ecosystems, then we can do a better job because we will be able to come up with mitigation measures to improve on it.”

Video interviews with participants will be available in January 2015.

UNESCO-IHP is convening a session on water quality and greenhouse gases at the 2015 World Hydropower Congress in Beijing. Find out more here.

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