IRENA Members value hydropower in new collaborative framework

Hydropower plays an important role as clean and low-cost electricity and forms the backbone of a decarbonised power sector. To expands the work on hydropower and facilitate a dialogue among its 161 Members and 22 States in Accession, IRENA has now launched a unique platform, providing its global Membership with an effective vehicle for dialogue, co-operation and coordinated action. The newly convened Collaborative Framework on Hydropower shows IRENA’s continued commitment as leading global platform to share knowledge and support Governments in pursuit of the deployment of renewable energy.

Today, hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity in the world, supplying around 17% of the world’s electricity and providing jobs for 18 million people globally. Hydropower is also projected to remain one of the major sources of renewable power in the future, playing a critical role in the transition to a clean energy future given the multiple services it provides beyond just power generation.

By setting up a Collaborative Framework on Hydropower, IRENA intends to bring countries together to identify priority areas, concrete actions and foster international collaboration to understand the role of hydropower in the energy transition and ensure its widespread deployment in the future. The platform aims to advance in areas relevant to hydropower including financing, flexibility, resilience and sustainability; its work will feed back into the on-going work of the Agency.

In a first kick-off event, over 30 participating countries from around the world have reckoned the critical role of hydropower in the global energy transition, asking to actively use the new platform to drive cooperation and dialogue on hydropower. Topics raised by countries where IRENA could support its Membership included the need to ensure the continued development of hydropower in a sustainable manner, the relevance of hydropower as flexibility provider and enabler for the integration of high shares of variable renewables (VRE), the need for adequate remuneration of services through business models and market structures and the role of hydropower in climate resilience.

Furthermore, the importance to showcase innovative technologies and solutions were emphasized as well as the need to further study the production of hydrogen coupled with hydropower.

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Following the first virtual meeting on hydropower, similar Membership engagements are now foreseen in the field of geopolitics of energy transformation (16 June), green hydrogen (18 June) as well as ocean energy/offshore renewables (25 June). For more information contact