A plan released today by the Hydro Equipment Association is intended to serve as a roadmap for hydroelectric power's place in the global energy mix.
Called the "Global Energy Roadmap", HEA said it hopes decision and policy makers will use the tool as they are "under increasing and seemingly contradictory pressures to decrease the cost of electricity, increase the share of renewable sources of energy and ensure a secure supply of energy."
The roadmap outlines several steps policy makers must take to unlock hydropower's full potential, including:
- Exploiting untapped sources to develop low-cost, renewable and almost emissions-free sources of power;
- Establishing a framework that ensures a level playing field for all power technologies;
- Facilitating hydropower development through public-private partnerships;
- Rewarding hydropower for the ancillary services it provides; and
- Embracing the International Hydropower Association's "Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol".
"Mature yet modern, proven yet innovated, established yet full of potential: this is hydropower as we know it," said Dr. Roland Munch, president of the HEA and Voith chair. "Hydropower has a key role to play in helping national leaders supply their citizens with clean, sustainable and reliable electricity."
Hydropower's potential has brought it to the forefront for a number of global power groups, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which urged a 60% increase in hydropower through the next 15 years in its Remap 2030 plan.
HEA's roadmap also emphasizes the role of pumped-storage in integrating other renewables.
The association was formed in 2001 and represents electro-mechanical equipment suppliers from around the world.
The Global Technology Roadmap is available for download via HEA's website here.