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While the 2010s was the decade of wind and solar deployment, the 2020s need to be the decade of energy storage. As the largest form of installed energy storage globally, pumped storage already provides immense benefits to electricity systems; however, huge amounts must be built to support national net zero ambitions. Therefore, understanding the challenges that projects face between the initial approval and commissioning are critical.
Delays and overbudgeted projects have an important impact on the reputation of the hydropower industry. The reasons for the delays are various, and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) is working with industry to develop a global perspective on the steps that could be taken to reduce the risk of this happening in future. Other actors such as the World Bank have publicly said that they are actively considering these issues in the context of improving investments in hydropower.
The 2023 World Hydropower Outlook provides some preliminary findings to help guide this conversation. IHA plans to supplement this with an in-depth workshop at the World Hydropower Congress to gain insights directly from industry. This groundwork will help to inform the next edition of the World Hydropower Outlook in 2024.
This workshop will provide a platform for discussions on de-risking investments for pumped storage hydropower projects and specifically on risk allocation, minimising and avoiding disputes on contracts, and finding the right structures to manage risks and align terms with lender bankability requirements.
It will build on the FutureDams Hydropower Risk matrix, testing it with those in attendance as well as providing overview of recent IHA analysis of project delays. Participants will explore topics that could include:
Following the Workshop discussions, recommendations from the workshop will be summarised in a document and published as part of the World Hydropower Outlook 2024.