The International Hydropower Association (IHA) will join with the Moroccan national utility, ONEE, to host a side event at COP22 on Thursday 17 November, exploring how hydropower can contribute to achieving Africa’s development goals.
The event, entitled Towards Better Hydro in Africa, will also feature speakers from the African Union Commission, the Government of Guinea and CI-Energies of Côte d’Ivoire.
The total worldwide installed capacity of hydropower is now significant, at 1,211 GW. This is enough low-carbon electricity to supply more than a billion people.
Along with providing storage and flexibility to the increasingly renewable and clean electricity system, hydropower can also contribute to multiple freshwater services, such as flood and drought control. Hydropower can thus contribute to water and energy security in a climate-constrained world.
Hydropower is however significantly underutilised in developing countries, and its benefits are not always well understood or optimised.
Against the backdrop of Agenda 2063 and the establishment of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, this session will bring together key players active in hydropower in Africa.
Discussions will focus on current challenges, successes and how building the right projects in the right place can help achieve ambitious development goals.
Speakers at the side event include:
- H.E Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
- H.E Cheick Taliby Sylla, Minister of Energy and Hydraulics, Government of Guinea
- Mr Ali Fassi Fihri, CEO, ONEE, Morocco
- Mr Richard Taylor, CEO, International Hydropower Association
- Mr Amidou Traore, CEO, CI-Energies, Côte d’Ivoire
The side event takes place on Thursday 17 November at 10:30 – 12:00 in the Morocco Pavilion, Blue Zone.
The International Hydropower Association is expanding its knowledge networks initiative to include eight topics identified as the most challenging for the sector.
The knowledge networks bring together professionals throughout IHA’s worldwide membership to share ideas and experiences, discuss new developments and collaborate on a range of key hydropower topics.
Knowledge networks will now operate across the following topics:
- Clean energy systems
- Climate mitigation
- Climate resilience and adaptation
- Project benefits
- Project financing
- Regional development
- Water footprint
The networks are open to anyone who is an employee of an IHA corporate member or an individual member of IHA.
This expansion follows the popularity of existing knowledge networks on the topics of climate resilience and adaptation, and communications. These active networks have been established through a number of networking activities such as webinars, surveys, workshops, reports and briefings in recent months.
The topics for the new networks have been identified through a combination of ongoing sector monitoring, and consultation with industry professionals through IHA's annual issues survey.
Bill Girling, interim director of hydropower development at IHA, said: “We are seeking to harness the success of our established knowledge networks, and broaden our engagement with members to cover the most important topics for the hydropower sector today.
“By working collaboratively with specialists in our membership to identify and share experiences and good practices from many different regional contexts, we hope to unearth solutions to some of the biggest challenges and help the sector to move forward sustainably.”
The Climate Bonds Initiative has launched a Hydropower Technical Working Group to develop criteria for climate-friendly hydropower investment. The International Hydropower Association (IHA) will join representatives of various international NGOs, governments and academic institutes on the working group.
The working group will seek to develop criteria to identify hydropower projects that deliver climate mitigation benefits and/or incorporate adaptation and resilience services.
The aim is to create a screening tool for investors and issuers to assess whether bonds linked to hydropower assets can be consistent with the target of limiting warming to a global average of 2°C, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
Richard Taylor, IHA’s chief executive, said: “Climate change can only be managed once we have developed tools for increasing investment in climate-aligned infrastructure.
“Building on existing guidance and protocols, the Climate Bond Standard is a crucial step forward in this process.
“Specific criteria for the screening of climate-compatible hydropower will be essential for bond issuers and investors to move forward with confidence."
Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, said: “The working group will help ensure the many issues around hydropower are closely examined, relevant science is considered and draft standards draw out specific climate-focused reporting and monitoring requirements for hydropower bonds and fully leverage existing guidance.”
You can find out more about the Hydropower Technical Working Group and who is involved here.
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has been approved as an accredited observer of the Green Climate Fund.
As an observer, IHA extends its role in providing a voice for hydropower in the international policy arena, and will work with a network of decision-makers on global funding.
The Green Climate Fund, established by 194 governments, is a global platform for investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. It is accountable to the United Nations, and guided by the provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The fund’s observers participate in board meetings and provide strategic advice on the design, development and implementation of the projects and activities to be financed.
By becoming an observer, IHA ensures that the hydropower sector is represented at the table of one of the key international bodies overseeing the distribution and delivery of climate funding.
You can find out more about the Green Climate Fund here: www.greenclimate.fund
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) announces that the 2017 World Hydropower Congress will take place in Addis Ababa on 9–11 May 2017.
Hydropower currently provides 70% of the world’s renewable electricity, supplying more than a billion people across 152 countries. It mitigates climate change by offsetting greenhouse-gas emissions and the use of fossil fuel, equivalent to six billion barrels of oil per year.
With the right policies and design, hydropower’s operational flexibility and energy-storage capability can also support the rapid progress of other renewables. By managing freshwater, hydropower can provide adaptation services by reducing the downstream impacts of flood and drought.
A key message from the multi-stakeholder community is the call for an even stronger emphasis on environmental and social aspects in the planning stages. If this is done with the right level of expertise, strategically planned hydropower can deliver major benefits, both locally and regionally. The challenge is to integrate past experience and new thinking, and then align policies and finance to incentivise the best types of project in the best locations.
With the above in mind, the 2017 World Hydropower Congress will bring together leaders and specialists to set the course for hydropower’s contribution to future energy and water systems. How to do ‘better hydro’ in a changing world will be a central theme.
Building on the outcomes of the 2015 event in Beijing, the 2017 World Hydropower Congress will explore a diversity of perspectives and will examine how initiatives of governments, businesses, finance, civil society and academia can advance sustainable development.
“We are proud to be convening the World Hydropower Congress for the first time in Africa”, says Richard Taylor, CEO of IHA. “Hydropower’s role is a dynamic that calls for an integrated approach, with a strongly connected sector, and a high level of collaboration.
"With the right commitments, better hydro will play an even greater role in delivering modern energy and water services in a climate-constrained world.”
Participants bringing experience from all regions of the world will gather in Addis Ababa on 9–11 May 2017. Organisations wishing to support the 2017 World Hydropower Congress are invited to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can find information and resources from the 2015 World Hydropower Congress, held in Beijing, China in May 2015, here.