As renewables take up a larger share of the electricity mix, demand for the flexibility services offered by hydropower is expected to grow, said IHA President Roger Gill at the 18th edition of the World Wind Energy Conference WWEC 2019.
Hydropower, including pumped hydropower storage to a greater extent, provides essential grid services and will make significant contributions to future clean energy systems as the ‘world’s water battery’, Mr Gill told the conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week. The event, held between 25 to 27 November, brought together more than 300 people from over 20 countries.
Presenting on the topic of ‘renewables working together’, the newly elected IHA President said the world’s renewable energy associations, including solar, geothermal and bioenergy, should continue to promote discussion on how renewables can best support the energy transition and achievement of sustainable development goals.
The portfolios of hydropower facilities in many power systems of the world are already capable of providing services that support the increasing contribution of wind and solar. “Hydro equipment is able to operate flexibly to accommodate the variability of wind and solar in the short and medium term and existing large storage reservoirs can contribute to provide energy supply security over longer time scales,” Mr Gill said.
Mr Gill cited the example of Brazil, where hydropower is a key part of the energy mix. The country has the second largest fleet of hydropower facilities in the world. Its portfolio of hydropower provides vital energy supply and, as wind and solar power are added, can deliver power system services to stabilise the grid.
“With the modernisation of Brazilian hydro plants already underway, the facilities should be upgraded to even more efficiently meet Brazil’s future energy and power system service needs,” Mr Gill said.
Under the theme of ‘Large-scale integration of wind power generation’, WWEC 2019 highlighted how wind power generation can be integrated with other renewable sources to reach 100 per cent renewable energy supply and how integration is important as end-use sectors switch from fossil fuels to electricity, such as with electric vehicles.
The conference programme included presentations in the areas of wind, solar and other renewable energy, energy storage technologies, energy in transport, power generation by communities and emerging renewable markets.
Visit www.world-wind.events for more information.
A three-day Certified User Training on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools was held for the Inter-American Development Bank and IDB Invest in Washington D.C. in October by trainers from the International Hydropower Association.
Participants gained knowledge of good international industry practice in hydropower preparation, implementation and operation and how the tools can support clients involved in hydropower development across Latin America.
“Overall it was an excellent and pragmatic course,” said Roberto Aiello, Principal Energy Regional Specialist at IDB. “I liked the design, structure, topics, pace and content - it works very well for people like us at multilateral development banks, who have busy schedules.”
“A deeper knowledge on sustainability tools for hydropower is essential for our work in the region, as hydropower is still the largest electricity source in Latin America,” added Arturo Alarcón, senior energy specialist at IDB. “Currently we are supporting several rehabilitation and modernisation projects, and applying sustainability principles in infrastructure development, operation and maintenance is critical to guarantee the best use of our resources.”
IHA’s approach to training is centred around hands-on training and the sharing of technical know-how. IDB and IDB Invest staff reviewed and analysed case studies from previous assessments and engaged in interactive activities designed to build their confidence around the assessment process and solidify their knowledge of sustainability measurement.
Learn about training opportunities
28 October 2019
A new IHA how-to guide for hydropower developers and operators aims to increase understanding of benefit sharing in project development and operation.
The How-to Guide on Hydropower Benefit Sharing will help decision-makers identify and deliver socio-economic benefits to communities, while assisting companies to avoid business risks and improve project viability.
João Costa, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA, said: “Hydropower projects are developed to provide electricity and other essential services such as water supply or flood control. But they do more than that. Sustainable projects can provide important benefits for nearby communities, including economic infrastructure, electricity subsidies and local employment.
“This how-to guide will help industry professionals understand benefit sharing in hydropower and gain insights into the strategies and approaches towards achieving good international industry practice."
The publication provides an overview of current knowledge on benefit sharing across the hydropower sector, looking at beneficiaries and types of benefits, including those related to project siting and design, monetary and non-monetary, regulatory and voluntary, benefits, as well as governance and monitoring methodologies.
The guide aims to support developers and operators in meeting good practice, as defined by the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools. It outlines a range of strategies to share benefits related to financial mechanisms, capacity-building, training and employment, procurement, social services, economic infrastructure, electrification and subsidies, and reservoir use.
Writing in the guide, lead author Joerg Hartmann concludes by recommending a partnership approach to benefit sharing. “Communities need to be empowered to take responsibility for their own development,” he said.
“A partnership approach depends on communities being treated as equals and with respect by projects and by government, and is a precondition for good community relations.”
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.
4th November 2019
Hydropower should stay “front and centre in the global debate as to how renewable energy can affect the low carbon future,” agreed International Hydropower Association (IHA)’s President, Roger Gill, and Chief Executive Officer, Eddie Rich, in an introduction video after taking on their new respective roles.
“IHA needs to retain its capacity to be a strong advocate for the role hydropower can play as the world transitions to a new renewable energy future,” said Gill.
He added that hydropower could play a supporting role to wind and solar power. “Undoubtedly, that is going to help us establish a renewable energy framework that will enable climate change to be addressed,” Gill said.
Over the next few months, Rich and Gill said their goal would be to connect and engage with as many of IHA’s members as possible.
The inaugural Sustainability & Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF) 2019 will be held in Sarawak, Malaysia from 10-11 December 2019.
SAREF, organised by Sarawak Energy in partnership with the Sarawak Ministry of Utilities, is a thought leadership campaign focusing on sustainability and the role of renewable energy in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each subsequent conference will provide a platform for energy thought leaders to discuss sustainability and renewable energy topics in line with the SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy.
The forum will bring together international organisations, experts from the energy sector, representatives from government, research communities, private sector and policy and decision makers.
International Hydropower Association’s Chief Executive, Eddie Rich will speak on how hydropower can drive and stabilise a wider renewable energy mix and broader sustainable development. “SAREF is a key opportunity for the energy community to come together to address the challenges of both ensuring sufficient energy and ensuring that it is affordable, sustainable and clean” he says.
The forum will open with a speech by the honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, followed by a special address by Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.
Other prominent speakers will include the honourable Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Anak Utom, Minister of Utilities, Sarawak, Sharbini Suhaili, Chief Executive of Sarawak Energy, and Tammy Chu, Managing Director, Entura among several others.
The conference will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Sarawak. To register, please visit www.saref2019.com.