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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 keep the global temperature rise this century to well below 2°C on 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 helps to maintain the stability and reliability of power supply systems 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, the International Renewable Energy Agency, 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 highlighting 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.

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.


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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