6 September 2019
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s national electricity company, has joined the International Hydropower Association (IHA) as a gold member.
The company promotes and strengthens a model based on sustainability and universal access to electricity, together with the use of natural resources in complete environmental harmony.
Irene Cañas Díaz, President of ICE, stated: “Being part of such a prestigious organisation as IHA is a significant step for the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, bringing us closer to the highest standards in sustainability, as we are committed to maintain and foster our renewable energy mix, which relies foremost in hydropower."
ICE exclusively manages the country’s electricity system, achieving 99.4 per cent national electricity coverage. It bases its generation on five main renewable sources of energy, in order of size: water, geothermal, wind, biomass and sun.
ICE won the IHA Blue Planet Prize for excellence in sustainable hydropower at the World Hydropower Congress held in Paris in May 2019 for its Reventazón hydropower project.
Reventazón is the largest hydropower plant in Central America with 305.5 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. Since it came into operation in 2016, the project led Costa Rica to achieve a target of generating 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
IHA’s Chief Executive officer, Richard Taylor, welcomed ICE as the newest member of the association. “We are delighted that the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has joined as a gold member. We look forward to working together to exchange experiences and advance strategies that support sustainable hydropower project planning, development and operations,” he said.
Besides Reventazón, ICE’s other hydropower projects include the 134 MW Pirrís hydroelectric plant and the 180 MW Corobici hydroelectric plant.
Costa Rica receives around 80 per cent of its energy from hydroelectricity.
IHA membership is open to organisations and professionals with an interest in sustainable hydropower. Members gain access to an extensive network of the world’s most reputable hydropower sector organisations, active in more than 100 countries.
Members can connect with each other, join specialist networks and access resources through Hydropower Pro, IHA’s exclusive online community and mobile app.
Learn more about IHA membership: www.hydropower.org/join
7 August 2019
The Teesta-V hydropower station, in Sikkim in northern India, has been rated as an example of international good practice in hydropower sustainability, according to an independent report.
The 510 MW power station, owned and operated by NHPC Limited, was reviewed by a team of accredited assessors using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. Their report, which looked at the project’s operation, has now been published and is available to view online.
The assessment, the first of its kind in India, was conducted between January and June 2019 and involved two visits to the project area, with stakeholder interviews from 4-13 March.
According to the report, Teesta-V met or exceeded international good practice across all 20 performance criteria. It met proven best practice on its management of asset reliability and efficiency, financial viability, project benefits, cultural heritage, public health, and erosion and sedimentation.
Teesta-V is also the first hydropower project globally to publish results against new performance criteria covering its resilience to climate change and mitigation of carbon emissions, after the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) was expanded in scope in 2018.
Teesta-V is part of a cascade of hydropower projects along the Teesta River. It was built to supply power to Sikkim’s Energy & Power Department and other state-owned distribution companies in India’s eastern region, and commissioned in 2008 as the first large-scale power station in Sikkim.
The report documents how NHPC, formerly known as the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, managed impacts on local communities and the environment, and how the project has provided “significant” benefits, including providing low-cost electricity and employment.
“Over the first ten years of operations, NHPC has expanded its activities along the Teesta River and made significant efforts to mitigate its social and environmental impacts, to create socio-economic benefits, and to communicate and cooperate with local communities,” the report said.
In a statement, NHPC Limited said: “Our company operates with a mission to achieve excellence in the development of clean power at international standards. Following this mission and vision in letter and spirit, NHPC sought a hydropower sustainability assessment of the Teesta-V Power Station using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.
“It is the first such assessment in India which itself proves the commitment of NHPC towards the sustainable development of hydropower. It is heartening to see that the Teesta-V Power Station has not only met basic good practices on all the parameters but it has also met global best practices on six performance areas. The results of this assessment will help NHPC to improve its business processes wherever required and to emulate best performance in its other projects.”
Dr Joerg Hartmann, lead assessor, said: “This assessment helped NHPC identify strengths as well as weaknesses in the Teesta-V project. These lessons can now be applied across the company’s entire project portfolio, and because NHPC chose to be transparent with the results, across the entire Indian hydropower sector. In fact, some of the best practices identified in the assessment – such as conducting a follow-up Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ten years after project commissioning, to verify initial predictions of impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation measures – should be considered by project owners everywhere.”
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is the leading international tool for measuring the sustainability of hydropower projects, having been applied in more than 25 countries. It offers a way to benchmark the performance of a hydropower project against a comprehensive range of environmental, social, technical and governance criteria.
Assessments are based on objective evidence and the results are presented in a standardised report. The HSAP is one of two complementary assessment tools - including the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG) - used to measure performance against a set of Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP).
These tools are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, which is composed of representatives of social and environmental non-profit organisations, governments, commercial and development banks, and the hydropower sector.
Assessors are trained and accredited by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), which serves as the council’s management body.
Download the report at: www.hydrosustainability.org
24 July 2019
Government and business leaders should redouble efforts to address climate change and deliver sustainable development, say the organisers of a new global water and energy network.
“It is time to transform commitments into concrete actions,” said José Alberto Alderete, Paraguayan General Director of Itaipu Binacional, co-convenor of the new Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership.
“Climate change challenges governments, businesses and civil society to work together to build a future of sustainable development for all.”
Itaipu Binacional, whose hydropower plant is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy, has joined forces with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to establish the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership.
The partnership, which is supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), aims to lead global advocacy on the role of water and energy in achieving the SDGs, and to build the capacity of institutions by sharing knowledge about good practices.
In New York on 15 July 2019, the partnership convened a special event with the Government of Spain on ‘scaling up climate action through integrated water and energy solutions’ to coincide with the annual UN High-level Political Forum.
During the event, IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor presented the outcomes of the World Hydropower Congress, which saw participating organisations commit to support the clean energy transition, manage climate risks and champion good practice in hydropower development.
Participants heard that almost 1 billion people globally still do not have access to electricity, while 2.1 billion are without safely managed water services.
Mr Alderete, who was joined in New York by his Brazilian counterpart, Joaquim Silva e Luna, renewed Itaipu Binacional's commitment to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Water and energy are key elements of national agendas, where the private sector and governments need to work together in order to achieve the SDGs,” added Mr Alderete. “Itaipu Binacional is an example that a harmonious coexistence between the environment and technology is possible.”
Mr Silva e Luna said: “Itaipu´s great concern to deal in a sustainable manner with all the issues directly related to the company´s activities has much to contribute in the international agenda.”
Manuel Menéndez, Water General Director for Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, highlighted the contribution of hydropower, especially pumped storage, to the energy transition. “Pumped storage is essential to achieve in Spain the target of 70 per cent renewables by 2030,” he said.
“Water and energy is life, water and energy is progress and is key for the transformation needed to fulfil all SDGs,” added Cristina Gallach, Spain’s High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda.
This year’s United Nations High-level Political Forum, convened under the theme of ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’, sees governments undertake the first global review of SDG 13 on climate action.
To follow the activities of the Sustainable Water & Energy Solutions Partnership on Twitter visit: #WaterEnergySolutions
17 July 2019
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has appointed Eddie Rich as its new Chief Executive Officer, following a global recruitment search led by the association’s board, it was announced today.
The former Deputy Head of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has worked extensively in international development. He has a long track record of achieving transformational change through delivering ground-breaking, multi-stakeholder partnerships with industry, government and civil society.
Mr Rich will take up his appointment on 9 September 2019. He succeeds Richard M Taylor who is stepping down to work as an independent consultant and who will support the new CEO in a consultative capacity through 2020.
In a statement, IHA President Ken Adams said: “Mr Rich will bring to the role extensive international experience, most recently as a founder and senior executive of the EITI. IHA welcomes Mr Rich and looks forward to working with him as the hydropower sector helps to contribute solutions to the energy transition challenges faced by the world today.”
Mr Rich said: “There is need for a bigger and better contribution to green energy from hydropower. IHA is the key organisation to make sure that the industry is well informed about good practices, has the capacity to implement them, and the world benefits from the best use of this precious technology. IHA's work on building and sharing high quality and evidence-based knowledge is critically important.”
“Much has been done. There is much to do. I look forward to taking this forward with an excellent team. I pay tribute to Richard Taylor who has brought us so far with unparalleled passion, knowledge and skill. I look forward to working with him to ensure a strong and smooth transition.”
Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Mr Taylor stated: “It has been a tremendous privilege to represent the International Hydropower Association. The hydropower sector has changed significantly in the last two decades, and IHA has done its best to support this. Handing over to Eddie Rich gives the association a new impetus. He brings an impressive set of skills and international experience. I look forward to working closely with him in this exciting transition.”
Eddie Rich's biography
IHA’s incoming CEO, Eddie Rich, has worked on the role of corporates in international development for over 20 years. He has been Deputy Head of the EITI since the international secretariat was established in 2007, including a period as its Executive Director. His responsibilities have included leading on EITI implementation globally and overseeing the organisation’s finance, human resources and communications functions, as well as the organisation of its triennial global conference. He has also published books and articles on governance entrepreneurship and multi-stakeholder governance.
His prior experience includes working as the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID)’s representative to Angola and deputy head in Kenya, and as head of DFID's corporate social responsibility team. He has degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Westminster.
12 July 2019
Eighteen hydropower sector leaders from around the world have been elected to the board of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), it was announced today.
The new board will begin its two-year mandate in September 2019, and will guide IHA’s work and priorities for the period.
The results of the IHA board elections were announced on 12 July after voting closed at midnight on 10 July. Candidates competed in each of the world’s six regions, and those elected are listed below.
IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said: “These distinguished individuals bring a tremendous wealth of experience from across the sector and offer diverse perspectives on hydropower activities worldwide. I would like to congratulate our board members, especially those elected for the first time.
“Through the board, our members and our partners, IHA is committed to advance sustainable hydropower. Our programmes build and share knowledge on hydropower’s role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions.”
According to IHA's statutes, a maximum of six candidates may be elected from any one region, and no more than three candidates from the same country.
Once the board is constituted in September 2019, it will select the President of IHA and up to six Vice Presidents from among its members.
The 2019 Board election results are:
North and Central America
- Ms Christine CANTIN - Senior Advisor, Relations Outside Québec, Hydro-Québec
- Mr Colin CLARK - Chief Technical Officer, Brookfield Renewable
- Mr Herbie JOHNSON - General Manager, Hydro Southern Company
- Mr Gil MARANHÃO NETO - Chief Strategy, Communications and CSR Officer, ENGIE Brasil
- Mr José Maria SÁNCHEZ TILLERÍA - Technical Director, Itaipu Binacional
- Mr Tron ENGEBRETHSEN - Senior Vice President, International Hydro, Statkraft AS
- Mr Thibault DESCLÉE DE MAREDSOUS - Chief Marketing Officer, GE Renewable Energy
- Mr Frédéric HOFMANN - Vice-President in charge of Development, EDF Hydro, EDF
- Dr Óli Grétar Blöndal SVEINSSON - Executive Vice President Research and Development, Landsvirkjun
- Mr Uwe WEHNHARDT, President and CEO of Voith Hydro, Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG
- Mr Anton-Louis OLIVIER - CEO, Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd
- Mr Moisés MACHAVA - Executive Director, Hidroelétrica De Cahora Bassa
South and Central Asia
- Mr Evgeniy TIKHONOV - Strategy and Development Director, EuroSibEnergo JSC
East and Pacific Asia
- Mr Roger GILL - Non-Executive Director, Pacific Hydro
- Mr Sharbini SUHAILI - Group Chief Executive Officer, Sarawak Energy Berhad
- Ms Tammy CHU - Managing Director, Entura, Hydro Tasmania
- Dr WU Shiyong - Deputy General Manager, Yalong River Hydropower Development Company Ltd
- Mr ZHANG Dingming - Executive Vice President, China Three Gorges Corporation
Find out more about IHA's work programmes in the IHA Activity and Strategy Report.