In 2020, IRENA’s Transforming Energy Scenario suggested that if the world is to meet the climate goals set in the Paris agreement, by 2050, installed capacity of conventional hydropower should reach 2,147 GW. This would mean that approximately 840 GW more of hydropower capacity are needed compared to the installed capacity of 2019.
IRENA’s latest findings, which align with some of the challenges raised by its Members in previous meetings, indicate that while there are a large number of hydropower projects already in the pipeline (planned, financed or under construction), the global hydropower fleet is aging and a considerable amount of capacity is due for retirement or will be in need of substantial refurbishment between now and 2050.
Given the long planning and construction times of hydropower projects, swiftly answering the questions of how and where this capacity will come from will be fundamental for the sector to thrive and meet the aforementioned goals. The deployment of the required capacity also brings some challenges in itself, first in making the necessary investments, which requires, among others, financial viability through fair markets and remuneration, second in the need to ensure their sustainability, and thirdly, in innovations, improvements and optimisation of the technology.
With these priorities in mind, IRENA has organised a third virtual meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower to raise awareness amongst Members on the most pressing hydropower-related issues. The third virtual meeting helped identify Members willing to lead the charge on specific topics, as well as to serve as a preparatory meeting and to build momentum towards a high-level event which would take place during the World Hydropower Congress in September 2021.
Closed meeting (by invitation only).