The Hydropower Sustainability Standard, drawn together by IHA, but designed by a multi-stakeholder group of industry, governments and NGOs. The Standard outlines sustainability expectations for hydropower around the world, ensuring projects provide net benefits to communities and environments they interact with.
The San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, a historic document that outlined an ambitious set of recommendations to guide the future of hydropower development. Endorsed by COP26 President Alok Sharma, the Declaration was taken to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
The report of the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower. Launched by IHA, the forum brought together 13 governments (including the US, China and India), 70 organisations, several multilateral development banks and financial organisations.
No-go commitment to hydropower development in World Heritage Sites
A no-go commitment to hydropower development in World Heritage Sites by IHA members and a duty of care commitment in Protected Areas. These commitments were reissued in 2022 alongside the publication of new guidance by UNESCO
The Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice define expected sustainability performance for the hydropower sector across environmental, social, technical and governance performance criteria.
The 26 guidelines present definitions of the processes and outcomes relating to good practice in planning, operation and implementation. The guidelines are a key reference for meeting the expectations of lenders, regulators and communities.
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is a tool for assessing the environmental, social, governance and technical performance of a hydropower project against internationally recognised good and best practices.
Assessments use objective evidence to create a sustainability profile, which can be used to drive continuous improvement. These assessments are delivered by fully accredited assessors.
The tools are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives from energy companies, government agencies, financial institutions and social and environmental NGOs.
2021 World Hydropower Congress highlights
Special event: Tony Blair and Malcolm Turnbull in conversation
A special event on the opening day of Congress brought together two former Prime Ministers, both of whom played a pivotal role in putting climate change high on the national and global political agenda.
Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997-2007) and Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia (2015-2018) outlined some of the critical considerations needed to advance sustainable hydropower; from how to avoid the risk of future blackouts through to how net zero can be achieved without a compromise to continued global growth.
China Three Gorges Corporation: Helping China to reach its net zero carbon goals
China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) is the world’s biggest investor in hydropower and also has an impressive solar and wind portfolio. It has taken a major step to expand China’s use of renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions with the opening of the Baihetan hydropower plant in June 2021.
Baihetan, in southwest China on the Jinsha River (a tributary of the Yangtze), has 16 generators with a capacity of 1 million kilowatts each. It is expected to be fully online by the end of 2022, and it is estimated that it will reduce carbon emissions by 51.6 million tonnes annually.
San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower
The San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, issued at the conclusion of the World Hydropower Congress, outlines a vision for hydropower’s contribution to meeting global climate and development goals.
The Declaration was presented at COP26 and identified a set of principles, recommendations and commitments to guide new developments and enhance the sector’s contribution to the energy transition.
Launch of the Hydropower Sustainability Standard
At the 2021 Congress, hydropower companies and international organisations declared their support for a new sustainability certification scheme for hydropower.
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard will help to ensure that hydropower projects across the world are recognised and certified for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.