Hydropower currently provides 70% of the world’s renewable electricity, supplying more than a billion people across 152 countries. It mitigates climate change by offsetting greenhouse-gas emissions and the use of fossil fuel, equivalent to six billion barrels of oil per year.
With the right policies and design, hydropower’s operational flexibility and energy-storage capability can also support the rapid progress of other renewables. By managing freshwater, hydropower can provide adaptation services by reducing the downstream impacts of flood and drought.
A key message from the multi-stakeholder community is the call for an even stronger emphasis on environmental and social aspects in the planning stages. If this is done with the right level of expertise, strategically planned hydropower can deliver major benefits, both locally and regionally. The challenge is to integrate past experience and new thinking, and then align policies and finance to incentivise the best types of project in the best locations.
With the above in mind, the 2017 World Hydropower Congress will bring together leaders and specialists to set the course for hydropower’s contribution to future energy and water systems. How to do ‘better hydro’ in a changing world will be a central theme.
Building on the outcomes of the 2015 event in Beijing, the 2017 World Hydropower Congress will explore a diversity of perspectives and will examine how initiatives of governments, businesses, finance, civil society and academia can advance sustainable development.
“We are proud to be convening the World Hydropower Congress for the first time in Africa”, says Richard Taylor, CEO of IHA. “Hydropower’s role is a dynamic that calls for an integrated approach, with a strongly connected sector, and a high level of collaboration. With the right commitments, better hydro will play an even greater role in delivering modern energy and water services in a climate-constrained world.”
Participants bringing experience from all regions of the world will gather in Addis Ababa on 9–11 May 2017. Organisations wishing to support the 2017 World Hydropower Congress are invited to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The team at the International Hydropower Association