The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) signed a formal partnership agreement to boost sustainable hydropower, the IRENA said in a statement on Wednesday.
The agreement sets out the joint ambition of IRENA and IHA to accelerate the development, financing and deployment of sustainable hydropower through activities focusing on sharing knowledge and best practices.
IRENA will also play a leading role in the IHA's new International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower, a government-led platform to shape and enhance the role of hydropower in future power systems. Launched in November 2020 by IHA and chaired by the US Department of Energy, the Forum brings together governments, industry, financial institutions, academia and NGOs to share their experiences and build best practices.
"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," the statement read.
Hydropower is the world’s largest source of renewable energy, contributing over half of the global renewable energy installed capacity, and directly employing around two million people.
Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, spoke of the urgent need to boost sustainable hydropower, as IRENA estimates that an additional 850 gigawatts of hydropower is required by 2050 for the world to stay on a climate-safe track in line with the Paris Agreement.
Eddie Rich, chief executive of IHA, echoed this view, saying sustainable hydropower will play an essential role in meeting climate change commitments set out in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
By Gulsen Cagatay