Sustainable Hydropower Development Case Studies
Sunday May 14, 2017  Printer Friendly Email this article


Topic case studies focus on specific aspects of development, such as indigenous people, cultural heritage, economic viability and water quality

 The 2017 World Hydropower Congress ended in Addis Ababa Thursday with the launch of a new collection of case studies highlighting good practice in sustainable hydropower development.

‘Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies 2017’ is a collection of 34 case studies based on assessments carried out under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a tool developed through multi-stakeholder consensus that measures the sustainability of projects across a range of social, environmental, economic and technical considerations.

The case studies were written by accredited assessors who carried out on-site assessments.

Topic case studies focus on specific aspects of development, such as indigenous people, cultural heritage, economic viability and water quality.

In addition, the publication features five project-wide case studies that cover a broad geographical scope and focus on different stages of project development. There are six more general initiatives demonstrating innovative local and regional approaches that are detailed in the case studies.

International Hydropower Association (IHA) chief executive, Richard Taylor, said: "By using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, project developers have been able to identify gaps in their practices and processes, and better understand how they can be addressed.

"This has brought forth some invaluable information for the sector as a whole, but until now this has not been made widely accessible. With the publication of this compendium, we are taking an important step towards sharing these examples."

ECA’s Soteri Gatera, Chief of Infrastructure and Industrialisation in the Economic Commission for Africa’s Regional Integration and Trade Division, welcomed the unveiling of the case studies.

“This is very important and will no doubt go a long way in highlighting good practice in sustainable hydropower development, especially here in Africa where our leaders are prioritizing hydropower development as a source of renewable energy,” said Mr. Soteri.

Speaking at the closing of the congress, IHA president Ken Adams said: "Today we are launching a compendium of case studies that show it can be done well, it can be done right."

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a reference framework that enables the development of a full sustainability profile of a hydropower project, with a team of accredited assessors evaluating the sustainability of a project against more than 20 social, environmental, technical and economic topics.

It provides an international common language on how these considerations can be addressed at all stages of a project's lifestyle: planning, preparation, implementation and operation. Protocol assessments use objective evidence to identify gaps and drive continuous improvement.

The high-level 2017 World Hydropower Congress was intended to chart the course for hydropower development and operations over the coming decade, with the aim to ensure reliable and resilient water and energy systems for all.​ The congress aimed to ensure that hydropower can make the greatest possible contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other international milestones, while managing the challenges of a changing climate.​

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).  

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