HYDROPOWER EUROPE: The new forum giving voice to Europe's hydropower community
A new three-year long EU funded project has recently started, it aims to gather input from the European hydropower community in order to agree upon common Research and Innovation priorities for the sector in Europe.
According to the International Hydropower Association (IHA), Hydropower remains the single largest source of renewable electricity across Europe, generating an estimated 600 TWh of clean electricity in 2017, about 12% of Europe’s electricity generation. Hydropower is one of the resources with the highest potential to help achieve Global Climate targets as well as to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals declared by UN. Hydropower already supports integration of wind and solar energy into the supply grid through flexibility in generation as well as its potential for storage capacity. With more than 30% of hydropower potential still untapped, this clean source of energy has all the characteristics to serve as an excellent catalyst for a successful energy transition. The project seeks to address the challenges ahead to fulfil this potential in Europe.
HYDROPOWER EUROPE is a multipartner initiative supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The main objectives of the project are:
- To provide a forum for the entire European hydropower community: industry, research, policy makers, end users and academia, active throughout its value-chain;
- To define a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (R&IA) and a Technology Roadmap (TR) that aim to help guide funding authorities and particularly the European Commission to prioritise support where it is most needed so as to adapt the sector to the constantly evolving energy system
Consultation through a series of online and face to face meetings, including regional workshops, will be undertaken to develop the research and innovation agenda and technology roadmap
During the first meeting of the project in December in Brussels, Anton Schleiss, honorary president of ICOLD said: “We are thrilled by the new opportunity this project offers the hydropower community in Europe, our responsibility towards our sector is very high. We have the task to bring a multitude of actors together and bring their voice to the European level so as to make our contribution to the energy transition, for which hydropower in Europe can be a catalyst.”
The action gathers a wide range of European and international partners, which will allow for the full involvement of the hydropower community in Europe and beyond:
- The coordinator is ICOLD, the International Commission on Large Dams with his regional club Europe;
The other partners are:
- EASE, the European Association for Storage of Energy
- EREF, the European Renewable Energy Federation
- EUREC, the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres
- IHA, the International Hydropower Association
- SAMUI, which brings expertise in water / environmental research, and communication and dissemination
- VGB PowerTech, the international technical association for generation and storage of power and heat
- ZABALA, expert in energy-related platforms as well as project dissemination and communication.