New tools can boost hydropower sector, save environment

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Gabriel Azevedo, a power sector expert, says the availability of new tools will ensure the hydropower sector can now operate efficiently without serious harm to the environment.

Azevedo said this at the International Hydropower Association (IHA) workshop held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

The main focus of the workshop seeking ways of Improving decision-making for the hydropower sector globally.

“Tools like the [Hydropower Sustainability Assessment] Protocol, the G-res Tool and others are available to improve the quality of what we do,” he said.

He urged nations that rely on hydropower to adopt stringent and effective protocols that not only ensure environmental protection, but also boost power supply.

Similarly, Julien Harou, another power sector expert said moving the hydropower sector towards proactively assessing power projects is now very possible.

Harou insisted that proper management of the hydropower sector would help in increasing renewable energy generation.

Julien Harou, @OfficialUoM, talks about moving the hydropower sector towards proactively assessing projects. #modernhydropower pic.twitter.com/9HrlW346Zs

— IHA | hydropower.org ??⚡️ (@iha_org) September 19, 2018

Lending support to this initiative, María Ubierna, an IHA official, stated that climate resilience guidelines for the hydropower sector “will help project owners and developers to, step by step, ensure that projects are resilient.”

The executive workshop brought together senior executives and experts from around the world to discuss three trends which are shaping decision-making in the sector: digitalisation, climate change and sustainability.

IHA says digitalisation is providing owners and operators with an opportunity to improve outcomes for their power plants, provided data can be gathered, analysed and utilised in time by the relevant stakeholders.

It also noted that climate change has instilled uncertainty in the decision-making mix, while access to and use of relevant information remains a problem in many countries with hydropower potential.

The global body insists that reporting and benchmarking of sustainability practices is affecting all stages of hydropower development, from early-stage planning to operation and modernisation.