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November 2017

New concept proposed to accelerate sustainable hydropower development

Bonn, Germany, 17 November 2017 – The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is partnering with Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) to explore options for a new model which would accelerate sustainable hydropower development worldwide.


The two organisations signed a partnership agreement this week at the COP23 climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. It will see them consult on the concept of a Hydropower Preparation Facility (HPF), which would work with national governments to prioritise potential hydropower project sites according to their sustainability.

The concept could see Hydropower Preparation Facilities established in countries and regions across the world, which would help governments select and prepare hydropower projects before putting them out to tender to the private sector.

Under the model, a project ‘blueprint’, guided by the latest international industry good practice in sustainability, would be created by the facility and then auctioned off. The successful developer would subsequently repay the preparation costs when the project is commissioned, reducing the costs and risks to prospective developers. The facility itself would be resourced through a revolving donor-sourced fund.

The International Hydropower Association has been engaging with governments, financial institutions and NGOs to bring forward the HPF concept following the strong support it received from stakeholders at the World Hydropower Congress in May 2017. 

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “The initiative is about getting the right projects built in the right place, and delivering services where they are needed most, especially in developing countries. The aim is to accelerate sustainable hydropower that fits well with local, national and regional strategies – contributing to cleaner energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate-change solutions. The partnership with SEforALL represents a significant milestone in making this concept a reality.”

Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and CEO, Sustainable Energy for All, said: “We can only reach universal energy access by 2030 if the shift to renewable energy moves at speed and scale. Best practice hydropower can deliver renewable energy and storage opportunities – offering much needed flexibility. By partnering together, we can help IHA share their leadership and expertise with a much wider audience of sustainable energy policy makers and practitioners. Together, we can go further, faster towards Sustainable Development Goal 7.”

Hydropower Preparation Facilities could assist in defining the energy and water benefits required from a hydropower project by utilising local stakeholder knowledge and public-private partnerships at the early stage, and by checking the viability and sustainability of the project before auction.

The HPF concept avoids the risk premium associated with a private developer attempting to bring forward a project with costly, often complex, assessments and planning, with no certainty that it will be permitted to proceed. By taking a system-scale approach and working closely with host governments and local communities, projects would also have a strong strategic fit within their region.

IHA and SEforAll plan to hold a series of meetings and events over the coming year with key stakeholders to identify a proof of concept for the HPF model. In particular they will assess how HPFs could be driven by revolving funds and utilise refinancing models aligned with the key stages of project development.

Notes to Editors:

About International Hydropower Association

The International Hydropower Association is a non-profit membership organisation formed in 1995. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. IHA was a pioneer of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and is actively involved with academic, financial, governmental and non-governmental partners in advancing international industry good practice.

For more information, visit and follow us at @IHA_org

About Sustainable Energy for All

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) empowers leaders to broker partnerships and unlock finance to achieve universal access to sustainable energy, as a contribution to a cleaner, just and prosperous world for all. SEforALL exists to reduce the carbon intensity of energy while making it available to everyone on the planet.

For more information, visit and follow us at @SEforALLorg

10 November 2017 - Paris will host the next World Hydropower Congress between 14 and 16 May 2019, the International Hydropower Association announced today.

The biennial event sets priorities for the future direction of the hydropower sector. It brings together leaders from business, industry, government, finance, UN agencies, academia and civil society organisations.


The seventh World Hydropower Congress is to be hosted in partnership with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme.

With the theme of ‘The Power of Water for a Sustainable World’, the Congress will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, made the World Hydropower Congress announcement at the United Nations COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

“Two years ago, world leaders in Paris made the historic commitment to limit global warming. We expect the hydropower community to bring the same resolve to realising the ambition of the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Mr Taylor was speaking at a special event on the water-energy nexus, hosted by the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat and Itaipu Binacional on 10 November.

Building on the 2017 World Hydropower Congress, which was hosted at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, up to 100 countries are expected to be represented at the Congress in 2019.

Notes to Editors:

Installed hydropower capacity worldwide has surpassed 1,250 GW, equivalent to supplying more than a billion people with clean energy. Hydropower makes up over two-thirds of all renewable electricity produced today.

The International Hydropower Association was created in 1995 under the auspices of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, whose headquarters are in Paris.

IHA is a founding member of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance) along with partners from the bioenergy, geothermal, solar and wind industries. 

Interactive tool for tracking pumped storage hydropower projects launched by IHA at COP23 climate conference

9 November 2017 - More than 100 pumped storage hydropower projects totalling some 75 GW of new capacity are in the pipeline around the world, according to a new online resource launched today in Bonn, Germany.



The new Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool – developed by the International Hydropower Association – maps the locations and vital statistics of existing and planned projects.

According to the tracking tool, the 100 planned projects will increase existing global storage capacity by 50 per cent, from 150 GW to almost 225 GW. The first of these projects will come on line in 2018, and the majority will be operational by 2030.

Known as the world’s ‘water batteries’, pumped storage hydropower is the cleanest and most cost-effective form of energy storage existing today. It makes up more than 95 per cent of global energy storage, next to less than five per cent combined for thermal, electromechanical and electrochemical storage, including lithium batteries.

The Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool is designed for policy-makers, investors and researchers. It shows the status of a pumped storage project, its installed generating and pumping capacity, and its actual or planned date of commissioning.

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, announced the tool at the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

“Pumped storage is the cleanest battery on earth, simply cycling water between two water bodies at different elevations. It takes surplus electricity in the system and stores it for use when it is needed. Switching between modes of pumping and generating in seconds, it ensures that renewables generation is not curtailed in the electricity system, and supply and demand are harmonised.” Mr Taylor said.

“This tracking tool is the most comprehensive online resource of its kind. It shines a light on the enormous contribution of pumped storage to meeting the battery demands of clean energy systems, with very high efficiency.”

The latest pumped storage technology offers essential ancillary services such as electric frequency control and voltage regulation, in order to ensure stable and reliable operation of power grids. Along with conventional hydro, it is also a leading solution for restarting a grid after a black-out.

Notes to Editors:

In 2016, worldwide hydropower development grew steadily, with an estimated 31.5 GW of new capacity added. This includes 6.4 GW of pumped storage, nearly twice the amount installed in 2015, and brings the world’s total installed hydro capacity to 1,246 GW. IHA estimates current total installed pumped storage capacity at 150 GW. Read more in the 2017 Hydropower Status Report.

Find the Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool here:

For further information about the tool, please contact Mathis Rogner, Senior Hydropower Analyst at IHA:
Tel: +44 7827 334541; Email:

For media enquiries, please contact Will Henley, Head of Communications at IHA: 
Tel: +44 7507 661755; Email:

International Hydropower Association

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation formed in 1995. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. 

IHA was a pioneer of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and is actively involved with academic, financial, governmental and non-governmental partners in promoting international industry good practice. Find out more:

Join the discussion on Twitter: @iha_org#hydropower

New York, 3 November 2017

Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association, addressed a United Nations symposium on sustainable energy this week, alongside UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The forum, entitled ‘Building Global Energy Interconnection, Promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, saw a range of presentations on how to harness renewable electricity to support human development.
Mr Taylor emphasised that renewables - including hydropower - are fundamental to delivering clean power, heat and transport systems, without which many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would not be achieved. 
“Joining up renewable resources through regional and, ultimately, global systems will ensure the most efficient and sustainable energy services are available for all," he said.
Hydropower already generates enough renewable electricity to supply more than a billion people. At the same time, through its operational flexibility and storage services, hydropower complements the increased input from other forms of clean energy.
In his speech, Secretary-General Guterres described energy as “the golden thread” that connects all the SDGs. “Modern energy services are integral to poverty reduction, food security, public health and quality education for all. They are the key to sustainable industrialisation, healthier more efficient cities and — of course — successful climate action. 
“Despite this understanding, the world is still far from achieving the vision of Sustainable Development Goal 7 of affordable and clean energy for all,” he said.
Some 1 billion people still live without any access to any electricity, including 500 million in Africa and more than 400 million in the Asia‑Pacific region, the Secretary-General noted.
“So, the world needs more energy, and — in particular — more clean energy,” the Secretary-General added.
During the symposium on 1 November 2017 at UN headquarters in New York, Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO, said major challenges such as resources shortage, environmental pollution and climate change pose a threat to the survival of humankind, adding that accelerating energy transformation is the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda targets.
In his presentation, Mr Taylor also highlighted the Reventazón hydropower station in Costa Rica, which contributes to the Central American Electricity Interconnection System (SIEPAC). He said that “SIEPAC has really begun to deliver for the region, bringing clean, cheaper and more affordable electricity to the six participating countries.
He added that “the contribution of Reventazón to Costa Rica and the whole of Central America is a shining example of sustainable hydropower development”.