As the New Year approaches, here are prominent trends related to sustainability in the hydropower sector:
▫️Hydropower is poised to continue significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hydropower can prevent the emission of around three gigatonnes (GT) CO2. This number represents about 9% of the annual CO2 emissions across the globe.
▫️Hydro energy remains a valuable source of renewable energy using water flowing in rivers and stored in dams (which means it relies on the water cycle driven by the sun). This enables hydropower to be used for either base or peak load electricity generation (or both).
▫️The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has established IHA Sustainability for accreditation and training courses related to the use of hydropower sustainability tools. These tools are being developed into an industry standard of minimum performance expectations for the sectors and the ESG performance of hydropower products.
▫️Fish-friendly hydropower technologies include water wheels, Archimedes hydrodynamic screws, Vortex turbines for low head application and the Alden turbine for higher heads.
▫️Materials used in the operation of hydroelectric technology (steel, concrete, copper, wires, etc.) are being recycled to lower the impact of the plant on the environment.