To reach new markets and customers, clean electricity requires long-distance transmission, often across national boundaries.
Hydropower offers sustainable, affordable energy for local communities. For many projects to become economically viable, however, they must be interconnected to a central grid and markets in neighbouring countries.
Regional interconnection involves joining up separate power systems and building cross-border grid infrastructure. It can result in lower electricity costs, greater flexibility and improved system reliability for trading partners.
Additional benefits include access to clean energy systems and energy storage. But they can be stymied by a lack of institutional capacity when navigating the cost and complexity of a transmission infrastructure project.
Projects can in some cases be burdened by regulatory structures which are not harmonised or coordinated, and disagreements over how benefits are shared and risks are allocated can delay or even halt new developments.
Our strategy and action
IHA is promoting the benefits and lessons learned from regional energy interconnections.
The growth in regional energy networks globally has created new opportunities to widen access to clean electricity and water services. This is essential for many countries to meet their renewable energy targets, reduce poverty and boost national development.
We continue to explore both the opportunities and challenges stemming from the growth of cross border energy grids, and share knowledge with our partners and stakeholders for continued learning.
The theme of the 2017 World Hydropower Congress was ‘Better hydro in an interconnected world’, with strong emphasis given to both long-distance and regional interconnections. It was organised with the support of GEIDCO, the African Union Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa at the Congress.
Throughout 2018, we will be developing a compendium of case studies to promote the mutual benefits and lessons learned from regional interconnections involving hydropower.
In January 2017, we signed a partnership agreement with China’s Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO).
In May 2017, the World Hydropower Congress in Ethiopia was organised under the theme, ‘Better hydro in an interconnected world’, with discussions focused on building regional interconnection.
In November 2017, we developed a case study on the Central American Electricity Interconnection System (SIEPAC), which was presented at a Global Energy Interconnection event hosted by UNDESA and GEIDCO.
In December 2017, a plan for collecting case studies for a forthcoming compendium weas prepared, with initial examples identified.
Latest associated content
We are pleased to announce the results of the election of the IHA Board to serve for the period to October 2017.Type:News postDate:31 July 2015
At 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, the International Hydropower Association is joining with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Institute for Integrated Management of Material FluxeType:Blog postDate:3 July 2015
The 2015 World Hydropower Congress took place on 19–21 May in Beijing, China, bringing together over 1,000 representatives of government, the finance sector, civil society, academia and industry to discuss a sustainable pathwayType:Blog postDate:12 June 2015
The 2015 World Hydropower Congress has drawn to a close. Here we take a look at the highlights of the final two days of the congress.Type:Blog postDate:20 May 2015
The 2015 World Hydropower got under way at the iconic Sunrise Kempinski Hotel at Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China on Tuesday 19 May. Here are some of the best moments from the opening day.Type:Blog postDate:19 May 2015