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Hydropower and climate change

Make net zero goals a reality

We can, with hydropower – but only if we act now

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Pumped storage hydropower

Clean, green renewable water batteries

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Hydropower's role

Modern, affordable
and flexible

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Industry good practice

Safeguarding communities and the environment

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With hydropower we can…

With hydropower we can…

Keep the lights on
with green energy

Ensuring a stable and secure energy supply is one of the biggest challenges we face in the transition…
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Provide affordable energy for generations

The most severe global energy crisis in decades has hit household energy bills in many regions of the world…
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Store wind and solar
energy in water

Wind and solar power will be crucial components of the renewable systems we need to replace fossil fuels…
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Decarbonise industries
with clean energy

Transport and industry together account for around two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions…
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Protect communities
from floods and droughts

Beyond generating electricity, hydropower provides vital freshwater management...
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Develop renewable energy sustainably

As we strive towards net zero, our challenge is to ensure that energy projects are developed responsibly...
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The Stake holder forum

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What happened in 2021

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.

Stakeholder Forum

The 2021 World Hydropower Congress marked a critical juncture in the future of sustainable hydropower.

At the Stakeholder Forum, the sustainable hydropower community shared their views on the future development of the sector, the importance of the San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower and the Hydropower Sustainability Standard.

XFLEX HYDRO

At the World Hydropower Congress, participants in the EU-funded energy innovation project XFLEX HYDRO presented the extraordinary advances in digital control and power electronics being piloted by the project.

The innovations showcased included smart digital controls, hydro-battery-hybrids and variable-speed turbines.

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.

Mosonyi and IHA Blue Planet Awards


In 2021, the World Hydropower Congress featured two industry-recognised awards which were bestowed upon exceptional organisations and individuals within the sector.

The IHA Mosonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower, recognising individuals within IHA's membership for outstanding contributions to the sector, was awarded to Richard Taylor, Director at RMT Renewables Ltd and former CEO of IHA.

Following this, the IHA Blue Planet Prize, recognising hydropower projects which have demonstrated their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance was awarded to the Teesta-V hydropower project in India, operated by NHPC Limited.

Partners and supporters

About the event

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About the event

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San José Declaration

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San José Declaration

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San José Declaration

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San José Declaration

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San José Declaration

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San José Declaration

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