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14 March 2019

Africa’s fourth largest river basin, the Zambezi, offers vast hydropower resources that can support sustainable economic development and prosperity across southern Africa.

The river basin’s technical potential of nearly 15,000 megawatts in installed hydropower capacity could prove sufficient to meet the estimated combined electricity demand of Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – known as the Riparian States.

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The Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme in Mozambique.

Using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) as a guiding reference, the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the World Bank partnered with government agencies and local organisations to assist the Riparian States in developing and utilising the basin’s hydropower resource in a sustainable and responsible way.

The 2018 assistance programme consisted of a series of assisted self-assessments using the HSAP across the river basin followed by an ‘operation stage’ official assessment of the existing Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme in Mozambique.

Participants from a range of operators and water resources managers, including Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa, the Zambezi River Authority and ZESCO, learned how to apply the principles enshrined within the HSAP to their own hydropower projects.

João Costa, Senior Sustainability Specialist at IHA, said: “The application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in the Zambezi River Basin provided regional stakeholders with the necessary information to effectively promote, manage and deliver sustainable hydropower and ensure the long-term viability of project benefits.”

Following the completion of the programme, the World Bank published a report titled ‘Application of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in the Zambezi River Basin’ in January 2019. The report provides an overview of the capacity building programme and summarises the results and lessons learned.

In its conclusion, the report notes: “The [Hydropower Sustainability Assessment] Protocol is a useful mechanism to foster cooperation and knowledge sharing among hydropower developers and operators, enhance transparency in the dissemination of information on sustainability performance and promote the sustainability of projects through assessments.”

Kimberly Lyon, Water Resources Management Analyst at the World Bank and co-author of the report, commented: “This work demonstrates the usefulness of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in a range of customised applications and shows that it has value for our clients seeking to elevate the way hydropower projects are developed as part of a process of continuous improvement.”

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol was launched in 2010 and offers a framework for assessing hydropower projects against a comprehensive range of social, environmental, technical and economic criteria.

The HSAP is one of three Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools, along with the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice and the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool, available to the hydropower sector to promote sustainability and measure performance in project planning, development and implementation.

Find out more online: hydropower.org/sustainability

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools will be presented to delegates at a focus workshop prior to the World Hydropower Congress in Paris, 14-16 May 2019, in association with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Organised by IHA, the high-level biennial event will bring together industry, government, finance, civil society and academia to set priorities for the future of the sector. To register to attend, please visit the event website.

1 March 2019

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE forum has launched an online consultation for stakeholders from the hydropower sector, policy-makers, civil society and academia.

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The initiative, which is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, aims to gather inputs from the hydropower community to define a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and a Technology Roadmap for Europe.

The agenda and roadmap will aim to guide funding authorities, in particular the European Commission, to prioritise support where it is most needed, to assist the hydropower sector to adapt to the constantly evolving energy system.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is part of the multi-partner consortium that created the HYDROPOWER EUROPE forum.

Consultation events will take place over the next two years. This consultation process aims to involve all interested stakeholders to ensure that views are taken into account in developing the way forward for the European hydropower community. 

All stakeholders who would like to contribute to this process can register their details along with some initial feedback, through the HYDROPOWER EUROPE Consultation Platform: https://consultation.hydropower-europe.eu/hydropower-europe-consultation-programme/

Stakeholders are encouraged to register before 6 March, so their initial feedback can be included in the first round of stakeholder analysis.

A wider consultation process will be undertaken during the following 24 months through various online consultation events combined with a series of regional workshops, including meetings in Lullea (Sweden), Lausanne (Switzerland), Crete (Greece) and Brussels.

Read more: hydropower.org/hydropower-europe

19 February 2019

A new online community and mobile app launched by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will connect the worldwide hydropower community and serve as a platform for sharing good practices.

Hydropower Pro is designed to support hydropower professionals from Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific to exchange experiences and collaborate with one another. The platform is available as a website – hydropower.org/pro – and as a mobile app for Apple iPhone and Google Android devices. 

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Exclusively available to members of IHA, Hydropower Pro gives users access to more than 20 online groups focused on specialist topics, along with access to essential and exclusive downloadable resources.

It is home to IHA’s 11 knowledge networks covering topics such as asset management, finance and investment, river basin development, regional interconnections, communications, clean energy systems, climate mitigation, climate resilience and sediment management.

Hydropower Pro provides a hive of news and information from IHA’s team of analysts. Users can discover opportunities, discuss new trends and common challenges, and stay updated with instant and weekly email alerts.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA said: “The launch of Hydropower Pro represents a new era for the International Hydropower Association in terms of the service we provide to our members. It supports our strategic objective to build a vibrant, inclusive and proactive hydropower community and create an open, innovative and trusted platform for knowledge.”

Will Henley, Head of Communications at IHA, said: “This project recognised that the hydropower sector was in need of an effective digital platform for individuals to connect and collaborate with one another. Whether you are an engineer, a managing director, a sustainability consultant or an academic, Hydropower Pro is for you. It will help you to expand your professional network and build your understanding of good practices across a range of topics.”

Hydropower Pro is available to IHA individual members and corporate representatives from member organisations. Existing members can request an invitation to join Hydropower Pro by contacting communications@hydropower.org. If you would like to learn more about membership, please contact IHA’s Membership Team: www.hydropower.org/contact-us

Testimonials:

“Hydropower Pro is a rich source of knowledge for the international hydropower community. It provides up-to-date, authoritative coverage of a broad range of news, events, issues and facts for the sector. In Hydropower Pro members will find a wealth of material of relevance to their businesses or regions, and an outstanding platform for the sharing of information” - Colin Clark, Chief Technical Officer for Brookfield Renewable and IHA Vice President.

“Hydropower Pro offers a new link into the extensive world of hydropower. It helps me stay updated with the latest issues and events and network in my areas of interest. IHA’s team have done a great job bringing this tool to life.” - Roger Gill, independent hydropower consultant and IHA Vice President.

Hydropower Pro has made my life easier as a board member of IHA. I can easily in one place access all material published by IHA, board documents, member information and participate in discussion groups.” – Dr Óli Sveinsson, Executive Vice president of Research and Development at Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland.

15 February 2019 

Hydropower developers and operators are piloting a draft guide for the sector designed to help projects assess potential risks associated with climate change, including alterations to hydrological patterns.

The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide, set to be published in 2019, is being developed by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) with technical and financial support from the World Bank Group (WBG) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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Denis Aelbrecht, Head of EDF’s Hydro Engineering Technology Group and member of the expert advisory panel, and Cristina Diez Santos, IHA analyst.

The guide will assist hydropower companies to consider and manage climate-related risks in project design and operations, addressing the demand from industry, investors, policy-makers and communities for international guidance on good practice in this area.

At a recent technical workshop in London, representatives from hydropower operators and developers that have piloted the draft (beta version) of the guide shared their experience and feedback on its practicality to assess climate risks and its suitability to inform design options and resilience measures.

“The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide will deliver pragmatic and accessible guidance for the hydropower sector, which is so important as a source of renewable, clean energy,” said Patrick Ray, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, USA, who is a member of the expert advisory panel formed by IHA to develop the guide.

“It will draw from cutting-edge climate science, acting as a bridge between the scientific and engineering community.”

The workshop for more than 40 participants marked the final stage of consultation ahead of the guide’s expected launch at the World Hydropower Congress in Paris in May 2019.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “As a low carbon and cost-effective technology, hydropower produces almost two-thirds of the world’s renewable electricity generation and is making a significant contribution to delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Hydropower projects need to manage climate risks associated with their dependency on runoff and so this guide responds to the demand from owners, operators, investors and governments for clear and practical guidance for risk mitigation. The aim of this testing phase is to ensure the guide is meaningful, credible and applicable,” Mr Taylor added.

Albania’s state-owned hydropower operator KESH is one of the organisations to have piloted the guide, leading to its recent adoption of a climate risk management plan. The plan was adopted as part of a loan agreement with the EBRD and lists a range of structural and non-structural adaptation measures.

“Building know-how in the field of climate resilient hydropower operation is an essential element of our strategy to sustain and further develop our position as a leading electricity generator in the Western Balkan region,” said KESH CEO Agron Hetoja, announcing the climate risk management plan in December 2018.

The workshop was held at the London headquarters of EBRD on 30 January 2019. Following the workshop, the project’s advisory expert panel will use the feedback received to finalise the guide for publication.

“We see financing hydropower as being indispensable to the clean energy transition, but we really must think about a project’s resilience to the impacts of a changing climate when investing in the sector,” said Dr Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments at EBRD. “This workshop is a very important step in creating replicable, well-understood guidance based on experiences of good practice from industry,” he added.

Pravin Karki, the World Bank’s Global Lead for Hydropower and Dams, who also participated, added: “The World Bank is pleased to support the IHA initiative to develop an industry guide for climate change resilience.”

Denis Aelbrecht, Head of EDF’s Hydro Engineering Technology Group, said: “I am sincerely grateful to IHA, EBRD and the World Bank for creating this opportunity to bridge advanced science about climate and climate change resilience together with industrial and engineering practice. The outcomes of the workshop must lead to flexible, understandable, and useful guidance which will be well accepted and recognised by the profession thanks to its practical approach”.

The Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide will be presented to delegates at the World Hydropower Congress at a workshop on 14 May 2019 co-convened by EBRD, the World Bank and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund and a climate resilience focus session on 15 May co-convened by EBRD. Participants will learn how the guide supports resilient investments and the steps required to complete a climate risk management plan. To register to attend, please visit the Congress website.

For more information, IHA members can join our Climate Resilience Knowledge Network which brings together professionals to exchange good practices in hydropower development and operation. To become a member, visit: hydropower.org/join

15 February 2019 

Nominations are now open for the International Hydropower Association’s prestigious Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower.

The award recognises individuals for their outstanding contributions to the hydropower sector and will be presented at the World Hydropower Congress between 14 and 16 May 2019, in Paris, France.

Named after the renowned engineer Prof Dr Emil Mosonyi, IHA’s founding President, the award is for one or more of the following:

  • a long-standing commitment or initiative that has had a major impact on the profession;
  • a specific hydropower project, the performance of an organisation or the hydropower sector in general; or
  • an aspect of hydropower sustainability (technical, economic, social or environmental) or a broad-ranging initiative, such as national-level or basin-level strategic planning.

The winner will receive lifetime honorary membership with IHA and guest registration to the 2019 Congress.

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Eduard Wojcynski of Manitoba Hydro and Anton-Louis Olivier of Renewable Energy Holdings, two of the winners of the Mosonyi award at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “The Mosonyi award recognises those who have made a profound contribution to hydropower. The World Hydropower Congress provides an unparalleled stage on which to showcase their achievements.”

Nominations can be made by anyone within IHA’s membership. The deadline for nominations is 10 March 2019. Up to three individuals can receive the award.

The 2017 Mosonyi award was presented jointly to Anton-Louis Olivier (South Africa), Kuang Shangfu (China) and Eduard Wojcynski (Canada).

At the 2019 World Hydropower Congress senior executives from more than 70 countries will share knowledge on a range of hydropower and sustainability topics. The event will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Mosonyi award is one of three to be presented at the 2019 Congress, along with the IHA Blue Planet Prize and the IHA Young Researcher Award.  

The Blue Planet Prize is awarded to projects which clearly demonstrate excellence according to a range of social, environmental, technical and economic criteria. Entries for the 2019 award closed on 31 December 2018. 

The Young Researcher Award recognises and rewards emerging talent in academia and the hydropower sector. It invites academic researchers aged under 30 to submit a short article summarising their work which is relevant to at least one topic under discussion at the Congress. The deadline for entry to the Young Researcher Award has been extended to 3 March 2019. 

At the 2019 World Hydropower Congress senior executives from more than 70 countries will share knowledge on a range of hydropower and sustainability topics. The event will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

To learn more about the Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower or to nominate a candidate, please visit: hydropower.org/mosonyi-award-for-excellence-in-hydropower

Secure your place at the 2019 World Hydropower Congress by registering today.

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