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Clean energy systems

The challenge

The power sector, the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions, must decarbonise to strengthen the global response to climate change.

The adoption of renewable, clean energy is integral to delivering the Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to keep the global temperature rise this century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In order to achieve this goal, fossil-fuel dominated energy systems will need to transition to low-carbon alternatives.

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Hydropower remains the largest source of renewable electricity generation in the world. It represents 16.6 per cent of global electricity production, more than all other renewables combined and will play an important role in the energy transition.

Hydropower provides valuable grid services that enable increased and more efficient deployment of variable renewables, alongside other essential energy and water services.


Our strategy and action

IHA is increasing awareness of hydropower’s value to clean energy systems and sustainable development. 

Hydropower can maintain a stable and reliable power supply by offering flexibility to balance the variability of other renewables, while storing energy in reservoirs.

At the same time, hydropower infrastructure is vital for the provision of climate adaptation water services, providing water for irrigation and municipal supplies, while reducing the risks of flood and drought.

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Working with partners such as the International Energy Agency, IRENA, REN21, REN-Alliance, the 100% Renewables campaign, and the World Energy Council, IHA is supporting renewable energy technologies working together.

We are actively engaged in developing publications, workshops, webinars and events to represent hydropower as a vital component of future energy systems. 


Recent activities

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In May 2017, clean energy systems were represented in two focus sessions at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Ethiopia: on hybrid renewable energy systems and renewable energy storage.

In June 2017, we participated in a plenary session at the World Wind Energy Association annual conference in Mälmö, Sweden, to present hydropower’s role in enabling variable renewables.

In September 2017, we gave a presentation on energy storage during a panel session at the Mexico International Renewable Energy Conference.

In November 2017, we launched the online, interactive Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool during the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase, an official COP23 side-event.

In November 2017, as a member of the REN-Alliance, we presented hydropower’s role in renewables working together at an official COP23 side event.

In December 2017, we became a member of the IRENA Coalition for Action. Its mission is to promote global dialogue to drive the clean energy transition by increasing the share of renewables. IHA’ membership will ensure that hydropower’s value to clean energy systems and sustainable development is recognised.


Latest associated content

  • 2017 congress focus session

    Hybrid renewable energy systems

    Hybrid energy systems typically consist of two or more different energy sources used in conjunction to ensure firm power output, increased system efficiency and ultimately a greater balance in power supply at lower overall costs.

    Programme item
    19 January 2017
  • Xiluodu

    2016 in pictures: achievements of IHA members

    At the end of 2016 we can look back on a year of progress for hydropower, with many development landmarks achieved around the world. We have compiled some of the most notable achievements by IHA member companies this year.

    Blog post
    19 December 2016
  • 2016 IHA annual issues survey

    The 2016 IHA annual issues survey: take part in building knowledge

    We are taking the pulse of the hydropower sector at large in this year's annual issues survey. You are invited to take part.

    Blog post
    24 November 2016
  • Towards better hydro in Africa COP22

    IHA and ONEE to host side event at COP22: Towards Better Hydro in Africa

    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

    News post
    9 November 2016
  • 2017 congress plenary session

    Commitments for better hydro

    The World Hydropower Congress is above all a catalyst for action.

    Programme item
    13 October 2016


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