IRENA, IHA Join Hands to Advance Sustainable Hydropower

With an aim to tackle climate change, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) have signed a formal partnership agreement.

February 04, 2021. By Manu Tayal

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With an aim to tackle climate change, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) have signed a formal partnership agreement.

As per the agreement, both the organisations will jointly work towards accelerating the development, financing and deployment of sustainable hydropower.

This will involve future policy and market initiatives aimed at better rewarding hydropower for the clean storage and flexibility services it provides to the energy system. Cooperation will facilitate public-private dialogue, strengthen international cooperation and promote sustainable hydropower through the development and dissemination of knowledge.

Commenting on the development, Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, said, “IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook estimates that an additional 850 GW of hydropower is required by 2050 for the world to stay on a climate-safe track in line with the Paris Agreement. There is therefore an urgent need to boost sustainable hydropower.”

“The Covid-19 crisis has shown beyond doubt the unique flexibility and resilience provided by hydropower compared with other energy sources”, he added. “IRENA has always considered hydropower an essential and central element of the renewables power mix.”

Recognising the important role of hydropower in the clean energy transition, IRENA’s recently published Post-COVID Recovery Agenda  recommends a 150 per cent increase in sustainable hydropower investments from USD 22 billion to USD 55 billion per year to 2030 to support the recovery and accelerate the energy transition.

“IRENA is the leading agency for the global advancement of renewable energy. We are delighted that it has recognised the essential role that sustainable hydropower will play to meet the climate change commitments set out in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7,” said Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA.

“While hydropower will continue to play an essential role in global electricity, hydropower’s flexibility and storage capabilities are also important to complement variable renewables such as wind and solar. Hydropower acts as an enabler of higher shares of variable renewable energy in future energy systems,” he said.

Partnership activities will be focused on the development and sharing of knowledge, data and best practices. In addition, as part of the agreement, IRENA will join and play a leading role in IHA’s new International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower. 

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