IHA: Hydropower CEOs Discuss Sustainable Recovery with the IEA

A meeting convened by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), saw 11 energy executives discuss with the IEA’s Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, how hydropower can contribute to global recovery efforts.

The consensus view from the hydropower CEOs was that economic stimulus packages involving investment in sustainable hydropower among other renewables will be essential to Covid-19 recovery efforts.

Ahead of a special IEA World Energy Outlook report on sustainable recovery, Dr Birol emphasised the importance of hydropower to a modern, clean and secure energy future.

The impact of Covid-19 on today’s energy sector is unprecedented and has highlighted the important role hydropower plays in providing electricity security and system flexibility, said Dr Birol.

“The voice of hydropower is not heard loudly enough in the energy and climate debate. It already represents 16 per cent of global electricity demand and 65 per cent of renewables-based electricity with significant potential to grow, including through modernisation or refurbishment of existing hydropower.”

Eddie Rich, IHA’s CEO, and the 11 hydropower CEOs and top executives from IHA’s membership, presented a united message on the need for sustainable hydropower as part of the energy mix for a green recovery.

“Even more than other renewables, government policies and actions drive investment in the hydropower sector. A ‘green stimulus’ for low carbon technologies and hydropower infrastructure should be a key pillar of government-led recovery packages” he said.

Despite the worldwide need for hydropower’s flexibility and grid management services to support variable renewables, investment is stagnating. Improved market design to compensate for these services is necessary to incentivise investment in plants with storage, such as pumped hydropower.

(Source: ESI Africa)