You are here


Climate and sustainable development top the agenda as high-level speakers are announced

8 May 2019 

The 2019 World Hydropower Congress opens in Paris next week, drawing more than 700 delegates from over 70 countries to the French capital.

The high-level event is organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) in collaboration with more than 40 partner organisations, with support from the Government of France and President Emmanuel Macron.


Between 14-16 May 2019 the event will bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders interested in hydropower development, including leaders from business, government, civil society, social and environmental NGOs, local communities, the United Nations, financial institutions and academia.

Announcing the line-up of speakers for the opening session, IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor said this year’s congress is themed around hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The congress provides a platform for sharing experiences and showcasing examples of best practice, while also guiding policies and strategies to strengthen the sector’s performance.

Mr Taylor said: “Four years ago, this city hosted the United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) at which the historic Paris Agreement was forged by world leaders to limit global emissions. This year, the hydropower community takes the opportunity to further its contribution to this agreement.

“The event will be an opportunity to discuss the hydropower sector’s vital role in meeting global carbon reduction targets, building a clean energy future and ensuring responsible freshwater management.”

More than 200 speakers will address 40 focused sessions and workshops on topics such as sustainability, climate resilience, innovative data solutions and hydropower working with other renewables.

The line-up of speakers that will address the opening plenary session on 14 May include:

International organisations

  • Ken Adams – President, International Hydropower Association
  • Elliot Harris – Assistant Secretary General, UNDESA
  • Fatih Birol – Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • Riccardo Puliti – Head of the Energy and Extractive Resources Global Practice, World Bank Group
  • Giulio Boccaletti – Chief Strategy Officer, The Nature Conservancy
  • HE Amani Abou-Zeid – Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission


  • Jean-Bernard Lévy – CEO, EDF Group
  • José Alberto Alderete – Director General (Paraguay), Itaipu Binacional
  • Irene Cañas Díaz – CEO, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
  • Jorge Londoño De La Cuesta – CEO, EPM
  • Pascal Radue – President and CEO, Hydro Solutions, GE Renewable Energy
  • Lin Chuxue – Executive Vice-President, China Three Gorges


  • Hon. Luis Chang – Minister of Energy & Mines, Guatemala
  • Hon. Barsha Man Pun – Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Nepal
  • Y.B. Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Utom – Minister of Utilities (Sarawak), Malaysia
  • Shri Aniruddha Kumar – Joint Secretary of Power, India
  • Daniel Simmons – Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy, USA
  • Øivind Johansen – Director, Ministry of Energy, Norway

Renewable energy

  • Rana Adib – Executive Secretary, REN21
  • Stefan Gsaenger – Secretary General, WWEA
  • Ruslana Lyzhychko – ReNewDay Ambassador

The World Hydropower Congress is sponsored by strategic partners CTG, EDF, GE, Itaipu Binacional, The Nature Conservancy and Sarawak Energy, and supporting partners Alpiq, CSHE, EDP, Voith and Statkraft.

View the programme of 37 sessions and see an A-Z of the speakers online: 

Recognising that business, finance, government and civil society must be more creative, more effective and work more closely together to deliver on the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, the organisers are encouraging all delegates and stakeholders to submit their priorities for the hydropower sector via the website:

Quotes from participants:

"This congress in Paris is a fantastic opportunity to meet all the major international hydro players gathered to talk about the role of hydropower in the energy transition and in the preservation of water resources. I wish all participants a very successful congress.” - Jean Levy, CEO, EDF

“The Nature Conservancy participates in the World Hydropower Congress because it is an agenda-setting event, convening the decision-makers and facilitating the discussions critical to the successful energy transition that we are working towards.” – Giulio Boccaletti, Chief Strategy Officer, The Nature Conservancy

“The World Hydropower Congress brings together a unique network of hydropower operators from all over the globe. This creates an unparalleled opportunity to bring together leading hydropower practitioners, and to address emerging challenges and opportunities across the hydropower industry – including those driven by climate change.” - Craig Davies, Head of Climate Resilience Investments, EBRD

“The 2019 World Hydropower Congress is a valuable opportunity to share experiences and promote the benefits of interconnections in developing regions of the world.” - Leslie Chai, General Manager of System Planning, Sarawak Energy

“Hydropower will continue to be an essential part of the energy matrix of the future. I am looking forward to hearing lessons about digitalisation, benefit sharing, safety, and other aspects that will make projects more attractive and sustainable in the long run.” - Luiz Gabriel Azevedo, Division Chief, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Division, IDB Invest

Learn more about the event and read more quotes from participants:

12 April 2019 

The International Hydropower Association has begun the search to identify its next Chief Executive Officer.


IHA's current CEO Richard Taylor

IHA’s current CEO, Richard M Taylor, has announced his intention to step down and to work as an independent consultant by the end of 2019.

In a letter to members, IHA President Ken Adams praised Richard Taylor’s contribution to the growth and development of the association since it was formed in 1995, stating that “The Board, on behalf of all members, thanks him for his amazing contribution to the association and the hydropower sector”.

Richard Taylor will continue his responsibilities until a successor is identified. He is also expected to assist the new CEO in a consultative capacity through 2020.

The company Spencer Stuart International has been appointed to lead the recruitment process, which is overseen by the IHA Board through its governance and finance committee.

Read the job advertisement for information on how to apply:

4 April 2019

The International Hydropower Association’s Activity and Strategy Report for 2018-2019 is now available online.

The publication provides an overview of IHA’s mission and activities to advance sustainable hydropower, sharing highlights from its knowledge building and sustainability programmes over the past year.


The report previews the World Hydropower Congress taking place in Paris, 14-16 May 2019, which will bring together leading decision-makers, innovators and experts from industry, government, finance, civil society and academia.

“The city which four years ago hosted the historic climate accord which bears its name will this year give the stage to the hydropower sector,” write IHA President Ken Adams and IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor in the report’s foreword.

“The outcomes of the World Hydropower Congress will help to shape our association’s priorities and work programmes.”

The Activity and Strategy Report 2018-2019 looks at IHA’s recent work to advance policies and strategies which strengthen the sector’s performance and deliver value to members.

In 2018, IHA and its partners published new sustainability tools and guidelines which provide a framework for understanding and measuring hydropower project performance. In addition, IHA launched Hydropower Pro, a new online community for members.

The report includes IHA’s membership directory and recognises the first group of IHA Fellows, a new tier of membership comprising the sector’s most experienced professionals.

“Working collaboratively with our members and partners, IHA will continue its mission to build and transfer knowledge on hydropower’s role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions,” write Mr Adams and Mr Taylor.

Read the Activity and Strategy Report to learn about our knowledge building and sustainability programmes.

Knowledge building programmes:

  • The status of hydropower: monitoring the sector
  • Clean energy systems: highlighting the expansion of hydropower’s role
  • Climate mitigation: assessing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Climate resilience: developing a guide
  • Green bonds: unlocking the market
  • Hydropower benefits: better reporting
  • Hydropower preparation facility: a model for sustainable projects
  • Modernisation: building knowledge on innovation
  • Operations and maintenance: advancing innovative strategies
  • Regional interconnections: connecting hydropower
  • River basin development: promoting collaboration
  • Sediment management: identifying good practices

Sustainability programmes

  • Supporting a suite of Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools
  • Building sustainable hydropower capacity around the world
  • Hydropower sustainability assessor training opportunities

IHA members can access the report in Hydropower Pro: download now.

Non-members can access the report at

For more information about Hydropower Pro, please visit

21 March 2019

The early bird registration rate for the World Hydropower Congress closes on Friday 22 March.

The world’s most important gathering of hydropower decision-makers, innovators and experts is in Paris from 14-16 May, bringing together representatives of industry, government, finance, civil society and academia.


Knowledge sharing, capacity building and stakeholder dialogue are at the heart of this high-level biennial event, which is organised by the International Hydropower Association and supported by a range of partner organisations.

The World Hydropower Congress provides an unparalleled opportunity to share experiences, guide policies and develop strategies to strengthen the sector’s performance and support sustainable development.

This year’s event will focus on hydropower’s role in delivering on the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, under the theme ‘The Power of Water in a Sustainable, Interconnected World’.

The venue is Espace Grande Arche, situated at the foot of the monumental Grande Arche, an architectural icon of modern Paris, representing a ‘doorway to the world’.

Hundreds of leading decision-makers, innovators and experts from more than 70 countries will be in attendance. Across 37 invaluable focus sessions and workshops, participation will provide an opportunity to take on new learnings, strengthen networks and build enduring partnerships for the future.

Delegates will share knowledge on how hydropower can be financed, developed and operated sustainably, as they learn from success stories and experiences from across the sector.

Three prestigious awards will be announced during the Congress: the IHA Blue Planet Prize for a sustainable hydropower project, the IHA Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower and the IHA Young Researcher Award.

Participants can also join a tour of hydropower projects in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal or Switzerland between 17-18 May. All tour places must be booked by 5 April.

IHA hosted the first world congress in Turkey in 2007, followed by Iceland in 2009, Brazil in 2011, Malaysia in 2013, China in 2015, and Ethiopia in 2017.

The last World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2017 drew 700 delegates from more than 60 countries.

Learn more and register today:

21 March 2019

IHA members can now stand for election to the association’s Board.

Nominations are open for the IHA Board elections, which will take place between May and July 2019.


The elections will decide who among the membership will oversee IHA’s work in the 2019-2021 period.

To be eligible, election candidates must be either an individual member or employed by a corporate member.

If elected, candidates must be willing to contribute to the shared responsibilities of the Board, and commit to attend the majority of its meetings. The Board meets three times a year.

How to stand as a candidate

To stand as a candidate in the IHA Board elections, you should fill in a nomination form, which you can download here to confirm your interest.

The schedule for the 2019 elections is as follows:

  • 26 April: Closing date for candidate nominations
  • 15 May: Presentation of candidates at the IHA General Meeting           
  • 29 May: Voting opens (ballot forms are distributed to members) 
  • 10 July: Voting closes 
  • 12 July: Election results are announced 
  • 18 September: First meeting of the new Board

You can read IHA’s five-step guide to standing in the board elections here.

If you wish to stand for election, please send your completed nomination form to, fax it to +44 208 643 5600, or post it to IHA Central Office, International Hydropower Association, Chancery House, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, London, SM1 1JB, UK.