You are here

July 2020

IHA member Hydro Tasmania is working to protect the short-finned eel by installing an eel bypass in its Trevallyn Dam, on the South Esk River in Tasmania.

The bypass will allow the downstream migration of this remarkable migratory species that travels from the Tamar Estuary to spawn in the Coral Sea near New Caledonia.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy announced the initiative on World Nature Conservation Day, 28 July 2020. 

“Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s largest water manager and Tasmanians expect us to look after the waterways under our care, and that includes protecting the species we’re sharing these areas with,” Mr Davy said.

“Though not endangered in Australia, similar species of eels are listed as threatened in the Northern Hemisphere, so the responsibility is on water managers like Hydro Tasmania to take action.”


Watch the video

Read more on HydroTasmania's website.

28 July 2020

IHA delivers first online training course for World Bank Group staff

The World Bank is a major force in the development of renewable hydropower plants around the globe, providing expert advice, technical assistance and financing to governments in developing countries.

Together with its sister organisation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the bank has supported a technology which is delivering green and affordable electricity for millions of people, helping to lift living standards and reduce global carbon emissions.


Pictured: Online IHA training with World Bank staff

In these times, amid the economic damage being reaped by the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has responded by emphasising the need for countries to ‘build back better and greener’ with sustainable hydropower.

This was the theme of a virtual conference it hosted last month, at which Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure, underlined the potential for hydropower to help governments achieve their carbon reduction targets, as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We know it's possible,” he said. “We can do it by using the huge potential we have with hydropower.”

“But hydropower projects are complex,” he noted. “We want to do them well, taking into account the environment and social implications.”

Recognised sustainability tools

In addition to their own Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and IFC’s Performance Standards, the World Bank has been a guiding force in the development of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools. Widely endorsed by industry, governments, financial institutions, and social and environmental non-profit organisations, the tools are currently being used by developers and operators around the world to design, build and assess hydropower projects of all types and sizes.

The World Bank has applied the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) to eight of its projects across four regions, and worked to increase institutional knowledge among governments.

Due to the pandemic however, it is particularly challenging for the World Bank to train officials working in hydropower on how to use the tools.

Embedding the tools in the bank’s operations

The International Hydropower Association (IHA)'s sustainability division, which provides training and accreditation in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, provided a welcome solution to this challenge by organising its first ever virtual training for World Bank staff earlier this month.

The three-week Certified User Training brought together around 40 employees working with the public and private sectors, including senior safeguard coordinators, programme managers, operations, energy, environmental, social, legal and dam specialists, to learn how to use the tools to identify and mitigate risks when financing a hydropower project.

The online course follows other recent collaborations between IHA and the World Bank including the development of a handbook on operations and maintenance strategies.

Providing a foundation for further embedding the tools in the bank’s operations, the course looked at how the Hydropower Sustainability Tools closely align with its ESF and IFC’s Performance Standards, but with a focus on the hydropower sector.

A deeper understanding

“The training with IHA on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools has been excellent,” said Ruth Tiffer-Sotomayor, Senior Environmental Specialist of the World Bank, who facilitated the course.

“It provided a deeper understanding of how these tools can be used along with the World Bank’s policies including our environmental and social standards to reduce risks and impacts and to use good and best international practices for better planning, construction and operation of hydropower.”

The course is designed as four modules with a blend of online as well as offline lessons. Participants take part in virtual classrooms, in which the trainer delivers live lessons, with group activities and Q&A sessions. On completion, participants complete an exam to be accredited as a Certified User of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

Flexible and interactive

“This is a very well structured, engaging training delivered by experienced, world-class experts,” said one of the participants, Christina Leb, Senior Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank. “I can highly recommend it to anyone interested in finding out more about the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and in learning how to apply them in different situations.”

Designed to be flexible and interactive, the Certified User Training course allows for participants to complete assignments on their own, discuss findings and share experiences.

“The course aims to equip participants with the fundamental knowledge and skills to apply the Hydropower Sustainability Tools,” noted IHA Senior Sustainability Specialist Joao Costa, who delivered the course alongside Accredited Lead Assessor Joerg Hartmann.

“It is clear that hydropower has an important role to play globally as we aim to ‘build back better’. Our challenge is to make sure projects are developed and operated responsibly and sustainably," Mr Costa said.

By taking this course, the World Bank staff have shown their commitment to greening our energy systems and providing clean, reliable and sustainable electricity for all.

For more information on the online training courses, please visit

If you or your organisation are interested in booking an online Certified User Training, please contact

15 July 2020

European governments should scale-up their pumped storage capacity, according to the EU Parliament.

MEPs voted resoundingly in favour of a report on energy strategy last week which describes the hydropower technology as playing “a crucial role in energy storage”.



Tabled by Claudia Gamon MEP, the report calls on EU member states to fully explore their energy storage potential looking a range of solutions including pumped hydro. It also requests the European Commission develops a comprehensive strategy on storage in line with renewables targets.

Backed by 557 parliamentarians, with 22 voting against, the report notes that “the EU is not exploiting the full potential of this carbon-neutral and highly efficient way of storing energy.”

“With an efficiency degree of 75-80 per cent, [pumped storage hydropower] accounts for 97 per cent of the EU’s current energy storage facilities. It is a well proven and efficient way of storing energy at competitive costs.”

A series of recommendations are made to remove regulatory barriers to pumped storage projects, including double-charging, tax and permitting obstacles that can delay or hinder market uptake.

In addition the report:

  • Urges EU member states to seek ways to enhance pumped storage hydropower (PSH) capacity, alongside multi-purpose uses of existing and new reservoirs
  • Calls on member states to remove any administrative obstacles to delayed projects, and provide regulatory support for innovative approaches
  • Points to the opportunities and environmental benefits of upgrading existing capacity for storage applications

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), commented: “The resounding vote by the European Parliament recognises the obvious: we need more energy storage. That will not happen by magic. European politicians have a huge opportunity as part of green economic stimulus packages to facilitate pumped storage hydro development through enabling policies and incentivising markets." 

According to IHA’s 2020 Hydropower Status Report, the European region - including non-EU member states such as the United Kingdom and Turkey - has a total installed capacity of 55 gigawatts. Reflecting the slow growth in additional pumped storage capacity, just four MW of additional capacity was added across the region in 2019.

Twelve proposed pumped storage projects were included in the European Commission’s list of cross-border Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). Recommendations were also published as part of the EU Taxonomy for sustainable finance, in the form of guidance and eligibility criteria for investments into sectors. These support green growth and align with the EU’s net zero 2050 target, including hydropower.

The EU commission has also recently launched research and innovation initiatives focusing on hydropower’s potential, including Hydropower Europe, XFLEX HYDRO (Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility), and Hydroflex.

Learn more about pumped storage hydropower by downloading IHA’s working paper: ‘The world’s water battery: Pumped hydropower storage and the clean energy transition’

View our Pumped Storage Tracking Tool


8 July 2020

The world’s leading renewable associations have issued a joint statement setting out policy priorities for a green recovery involving accelerated clean energy deployment.

Under the banner of the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance), the five associations representing the bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind power industries say a world powered 100% by renewable energy will only be achieved by greater technology integration.

“Together, the renewable energy technologies are greater than the sum of their parts. A significant increase of investment in renewables will fuel economic growth, create employment and contribute to a climate-safe future,” they say.

The alliance’s six-point joint statement calls for 

  • Accelerated renewables deployment, especially in heating, cooling and transportation, also by connecting all sectors
  • Substantial financial incentives for renewables to create a competitive advantage for end-users and encourage self-supply
  • Additional benefits and services of renewables to be considered when designing market mechanisms, not just lowest price
  • Broader policy frameworks devoted to a just and inclusive energy transition
  • Development of green skills and renewable jobs offered to communities
  • Mapping and promotion of the health benefits of a green energy-based economy

Read the joint statement

The International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance) brings together five renewable industry organisations to promote the use of renewable energy technologies worldwide: the International Hydropower Association, the International Geothermal Association, the International Solar Energy Society, the World Bioenergy Association, and the World Wind Energy Association.

The goal of the REN Alliance is to foster collaboration among renewables, promoting successful implementation strategies, enhancing business conditions and developing markets. This is done by providing reliable information to inform decision-making nationally and internationally to further the principles and goals set out in the 2004 Bonn Declaration on Renewable Energies.

Last week the REN Alliance hosted an online conference together with senior representatives of the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the REN21 think tank. The organisations examined how renewable industries, working together, can scale up climate action and accelerate access to clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy for all. Watch the webinar

In 2019, renewables contributed just over a quarter (27.3 per cent) of total global electricity production according to REN21’s Global Status Report. Hydropower is the single largest contributor of clean electricity at 15.9 per cent, followed by wind power (5.9 per cent), solar photovoltaics (2.8 per cent), bioenergy (2.2 per cent) and geothermal and other sources (0.4 per cent). 

Read more about IHA’s work to promote a green economic recovery, including our paper on hydropower and Covid-19.



30 June 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has created the biggest global crisis in generations, aside from the climate crisis. While some of the lockdown measures are being eased, governments are devising stimulus and recovery packages to shape societies and economies for years to come.

Over the last months, we have seen how the proportion of energy supply met by renewables has reached historic highs in China, Europe, India, the UK, and the USA. This continues a trend seen since 2011. But the pace of change is not enough to meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.

A global green recovery is needed. Increasing the investment priorities in renewables will fuel economic growth, create employment opportunities, enhance human welfare, and contribute to a climate-safe future. Bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind offer ready solutions to combat climate change; sustainable, decarbonised economies; and resilient inclusive societies.


This webinar hosted by the REN Alliance focused on the trends and opportunities for how bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind technologies can work together to create a ‘green COVID-19 recovery’.

Speakers representing each of these technologies presented on how renewables working together can build on Covid-19 recovery strategies to scale up climate action and accelerate access to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy for all.

Watch the video


• Eddie Rich, Chair of REN Alliance and IHA CEO

• Rana Adib, Executive Secretary at REN21

• Roland Roesch, Deputy Director, IRENA Innovation and Technology Center

• Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division at IEA

• Bharadwaj Kummamuru, Executive Director at the World Bioenergy Association (WBA)

• Marit Brommer, Executive Director at the International Geothermal Association (IGA)

• Cristina Diez Santos, Senior Analyst at the International Hydropower Association (IHA)

• Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General at World Wind Energy Association (WWEA)

• Jennifer McIntosh, Executive Secretary at the International Solar Energy Society (ISES)