The International Hydropower Association recognized a number of award winners during a gala dinner held in conjunction with the 2017 World Hydropower Congress, which is currently taking place in Addis Ababa.
In total, seven awards were presented across three categories, including the IHA Blue Planet Prize, the Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower, and the IHA Young Researchers of the Year program.
Blue Planet Prize
Awarded to Iceland’s Landsvirkjun for demonstrating “excellence in sustainable development” with its 150-MW Blanda hydroelectric plant. The plant was evaluated using IHA’s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which evaluates a project’s sustainability based on its social, environmental, technical and economic aspects.
Blanda scored an international best in 14 of 17 areas assessed, with areas of particular success including relations with communities and stakeholders; social and environmental compensation measures; and social benefits exceeding minimum licensing requirements.
Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower
- Anton-Louis Olivier, Renewable Energy Holdings, for his leadership in developing and implementing small-scale hydro projects in South Africa. In 2002, Olivier used funding from the Dutch government to perform feasibility studies on the Lesotho Highland project. The project became the first of its kind to obtain a generating license, power purchase agreement and water abstraction permit under South Africa’s Water Act of 1986, ultimately leading to greater interest in similar projects by other developers.
- Kuang Shangfu, China Institute of Water Resource and Hydropower Research, for his work as president of IWHR. During his tenure, IWHR has provided research and consultancy services not only for a number of projects in China, but also 150 other projects in more than 30 countries. Shangfu was also instrumental in establishing IWHR as the National Research Center for Sustainable Hydropower Development under China’s National Energy Administration and as IHA’s China office.
- Eduard Wojcynski, Manitoba Hydro, for his work on increasing hydro’s value to Manitoban communities. Throughout his 35-year career, Wojcynski fought to improve environmental and social characteristics of hydro; supported climate change and greenhouse gas research; and championed hydro as a preferable renewable energy source.
Young Researchers of the Year
- Alexandros Korkovelos, a researcher at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, for his work focusing on small-scale hydro potential in Sub-Saharan Africa. Korkovelos analyze more than 712,500 km of river networks in 44 countries, resulting in the identification of 15,599 development sites.
- Sara Mercier-Blais, for her work developing a new framework for predicting greenhouse gas emissions from freshwater reservoirs, called the “G-res” tool. The tool will be used to help decision-makers and other stakeholders more accurately measure emissions from existing and planned reservoirs.
- Rafael Schmitt, who has worked to develop lower impact dam portfolios and optimal sequencing in the Meking River Basin while at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.