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New guide to help hydropower build resilience to climate change

New guide to help hydropower build resilience to climate change

15 May 2019

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has today launched technical guidance to help the hydropower industry to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide will support investors, owners and developers to make informed decisions about how to plan, build, upgrade and operate hydropower systems in the face of increasingly variable climatic and hydrological conditions.

Launched at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris on 15 May 2019, the guide introduces an innovative methodology for assessing climate risks and identifying corresponding climate resilience measures.

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Departing from traditional approaches that rely on historical information about past climatic and hydrological conditions, the guide provides a practical framework for assessing the projected impacts of climate change on hydropower systems. This includes guidance for selecting appropriate measures and operational procedures that build climate resilience across a range of scenarios, and for the development of a climate risk management plan.

Announcing the new guide, IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “The hydropower sector is part of the solution to climate change, providing clean, renewable electricity and vital freshwater management to help communities manage the impacts of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

“While providing essential adaptation services, hydropower facilities are not immune to the changing climate. This guide offers new international good practice guidance to help project operators and developers identify, assess and manage climate risks to enhance the resilience of proposed and existing hydropower projects.”

The guide was developed by IHA with technical and financial support provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group (WBG) and its Korea Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF).

It is intended for hydropower projects of all types, scales and geographies, and suitable for upgrade and greenfield projects. The six-phase methodology looks at climate risk screening, data analysis, climate stress testing, climate risk management, and monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

“Greater investment in hydropower is needed as part of the transition towards low-carbon and climate-resilient energy systems” said Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments at the EBRD. “This guide will play an important role in helping financial institutions to scale up both the quantity and the quality of their investment in climate-resilient hydropower.”

“The World Bank Group welcomes the international hydropower industry’s Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide,” said Pravin Karki, Global Lead Hydropower and Dams at WBG. “Climate risks, if not adequately addressed in planning and operations, could drastically undermine hydropower investments. There is an urgent need to actively prepare for the resiliency of hydropower assets in the face of increased frequency of extreme weather events and rapid changes in hydrological patterns to reduce the risk of climate-related disruptions.”

“The World Bank Group works to ensure that its hydropower and other energy investments are adapted to climate change, and create financial mechanisms to encourage upfront investments in resilient hydropower infrastructure,” he continued.

To download the Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide, visit: hydropower.org/climateresilienceguide

 

Notes for Editors:

The IHA Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide was developed over a three-year period in consultation with major hydropower developers, owners and operators, intergovernmental and not-for-profit organisations, international consultancies and independent experts.

Throughout 2018 and early 2019, several hydropower projects tested the draft guide and provided feedback on its applicability. Projects involved in the testing were: Drin River Hydropower Cascade, Albania; Jirau Hydropower Plant, Brazil; Kabeli A Hydroelectric Project, Nepal; Mpatamanga Hydropower Project, Malawi; Nenskra Hydropower Project, Georgia; Romaine Hydropower Complex, Canada; and Qairokkum Hydropower Plant, Tajikistan.

Learn more about the International Hydropower Association's climate resilience knowledge building programme.

For further information, please contact María Ubierna, IHA Hydropower Specialist and Knowledge Building Team Focal Point (mu@hydropower.org)

 

About IHA

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to sustainable hydropower. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. We achieve this through sector monitoring, advancing strategies that strengthen performance, and building an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.

The World Hydropower Congress, 14-16 May 2019, has brought together representatives of industry, government, finance, civil society and academia from more than 70 countries to set priorities for the hydropower sector. Under the theme ‘The Power of Water in a Sustainable, Interconnected World’, the congress explores hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. For highlights from the first two days of the congress, visit: www.hydropower.org/congress

 

Media Contact

Will Henley
Head of Communications
International Hydropower Association
t:  +44 7507 661 755
e:  will.henley@hydropower.org