Our priorities

Hydropower modernisation

Modern hydropower projects provide essential power and flexibility to support variable renewables in the energy mix.

"The XFLEX HYDRO project will test innovative solutions based on renewable energy"

- Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General, European Commission, on the launch of the XFLEX HYDRO initiative
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Overview

As the hydropower sector looks to the future, many hydropower facilities will require modernisation to maximise clean energy generation and water management.

By 2030, over half the world’s existing hydropower capacity is expected to have undergone, or be due for, modernisation. Upgrades will need to go beyond ‘business as usual’ refurbishments to bring in new and smarter technologies.

Investments will not only restore the reduced performance of ageing plants, but also optimise operations, build resilience to climate change, and provide flexibility to support variable renewables in the energy mix.

Our action

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) supports the exchange of innovation and industry experiences across the world.

We have been studying the modernisation needs of hydropower through partnerships with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

We have worked with the World Bank and IHA members to identify good practices in hydropower operations and maintenance (O&M) in developing countries, with case studies from Africa, Asia and South America.

We are participating in the Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility (XFLEX HYDRO) project, an EU-funded initiative to demonstrate innovative methods and technologies to improve hydropower's flexibility and its impact in modern power markets.

Contact us

Join the IHA community and contribute to our work
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Study: Asia modernisation

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Good practice guidelines

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XFLEX HYDRO initiative

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Blog: Latin America

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Hydropower Europe

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December 3, 2020

New guidance to help improve the sustainability of river hydro schemes

Building a hydropower facility on a waterway will inevitably lead to some changes in downstream flows, with implications for river users and local ecosystems requiring responsible management.
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