IHA’s 2017 Hydropower Status Report presents sector’s latest insights and trends

The 2017 Hydropower Status Report was launched today at the World Hydropower Congress, taking place at the UN Conference Center in Addis Ababa on 9-11 May. The report offers the latest insights into global developments in the hydropower sector, as well as in-depth regional analysis and key trends.

The report is available for download here.

The 2017 report introduces new features, including a map of major transmission development worldwide and 17 new country profiles, as well as a broader range of key topic analysis. The report also looks in detail at some of the most significant current trends affecting the hydropower sector.

Ultra-high voltage transmission is connecting hydropower to markets, as the concept of ‘global energy interconnection’ is implemented regionally and on an inter-continental scale to enable massive growth in renewable energy technologies to meet global demand. 

Progress in reporting on hydropower’s carbon footprint is noted in the briefing too. An international research initiative has developed a framework for calculating the net greenhouse gas emissions of freshwater reservoirs, in which pre-impoundment emissions specific to each reservoir will now be considered, as well as the multiple services provided by the reservoir. 

Other notable sector trends analysed by IHA in the report include the establishment of initiatives to manage the risk profile of hydropower, increased integration of renewables to support grid stability, and a greater focus on climate resilience among financing institutions.  

The latest global development statistics are presented in the report by country and by region. In 2016, a total of 31.5 GW of new installed capacity added across the globe, including 6.4 GW of new pumped storage — nearly double the amount of previous years. This development can largely be attributed to the role hydropower plays in balancing other renewable sources, such as solar and wind. 

“The 2017 Hydropower Status Report reveals steady growth in hydropower development over the past year, and a renaissance in pumped storage. This is indicative of the increasingly important role it plays in providing flexible support to other renewable energy systems, as countries around the world take steps to meet the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Richard Taylor, chief executive of IHA. 

China offers a noteworthy example of this trend. Its 13th five-year plan for energy development sets out plans to reach 40 GW total pumped storage by 2020, in order to balance out the huge volume of solar and wind power coming online. Progress is well underway, with 3.7 GW commissioned in China in 2016 over three projects. 

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a not-for-profit, international organisation working to advance sustainable hydropower. IHA has members active in more than 100 countries, and also partners with other international organisations, research institutions, governments and civil society. The association’s mission is ‘to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, freshwater management and climate change solutions’. Find out more at www.hydropower.org.

The Hydropower Status Report is produced annually by IHA, offering the most comprehensive overview of key global statistics in the hydropower sector, as well as in-depth analysis of key trends. The report is compiled using data from IHA’s global hydropower database, which has been developed in close collaboration with regulators, ministries and electricity associations, as well as station owners and operators. 

The 2017 World Hydropower Congress is a high-level event intended to chart the course for hydropower development and operations over the coming decade, with the aim to ensure reliable and resilient water and energy systems for all.  The congress aims to ensure that hydropower can make the greatest possible contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other international milestones, while managing the challenges of a changing climate. Find out more at www.hydropower.org/congress.

IHA publications are available to download at www.hydropower.org/publications

Contact: Alex Trembath, head of communications, International Hydropower Association: at@hydropower.org / communications@hydropower.org; +44 750 766 1755; +44 20 8652 5920

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