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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, which aims to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C, as this would substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change. 

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 over 16 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 contributions to reliable, stable and affordable energy systems and human development. 

We work with international partners to highlight the role of hydropower in enabling the transition towards clean and sustainable energy systems. 

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Focusing on hydropower’s balancing and ancillary services for grid stability, we also share knowledge on the evolving role of pumped hydropower storage in future energy systems.

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


Recent activities

To learn more about our recent activities, read our Activity and Strategy Report for 2018-2019

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Join the network

IHA’s Clean Energy Systems Knowledge Network supports members to build and share knowledge on hydropower’s role in clean energy systems.

If you are an IHA member, you can join our Clean Energy Systems Knowledge Network

Hydropower Pro

IHA members can access the knowledge network in Hydropower Pro, our online member community.

In the online group, network members can connect with each other, exchange experiences and access essential resources, briefings and case studies.

For any questions, please contact IHA senior analyst Mathis Rogner at


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Latest associated content

  • IHA annual issues survey

    Webinar recording: results of the 2016 annual issues survey on hydropower

    The IHA annual issues survey is an initiative that aims to monitor the key issues facing hydropower, identify policy developments around the world that affect the sector, and ensure that our work programme reflects the issues th

    Blog post
    10 February 2017
  • 2017 congress focus session

    Small-scale energy systems

    Smaller-scale hydropower solutions have proven to be successful in various regions where it may be more technically feasible and cost-effective to install small-scale systems than more conventional hydropower systems.

    Programme item
    1 February 2017
  • 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


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