The need for sustainable hydropower to tackle the climate emergency was the subject of discussion on the opening day of the World Hydropower Congress, with both Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Blair agreeing that the potential absence of sufficient hydropower capacity is the “ignored crisis within the climate crisis”.

Investment in long duration energy storage and the grid resilience it provides is becoming ever more urgent to expand growth in renewables, with Mr Blair – who is Executive Chairman of the Institute for Global Change – stating: “Long duration storage is absolutely essential and pumped hydro is going to be one of the principal means of achieving that.” 

A question asked was how do we implement sufficient projects at scale to make a difference? The two former prime ministers are among a roster of high-level speakers seeking to answer this question during the 2021 World Hydropower Congress, including IHA President Roger Gill, COP26 Chair Alok Sharma, former New Zealand PM Helen Clark, US Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk, GEIDCO Secretary-General Wu Xuan, UN Special Envoy Mark Carney, EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy, Sarawak Energy CEO Sharbini Suhaili, Fortescue Metals Group Founder Andrew Forrest, and the heads of the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency, The Nature Conservancy and WWF-International.

The World Hydropower Congress will see a range of major announcements and commitments made by and on behalf of the hydropower sector, including the San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, the launch of the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, a new ESG certification scheme, as well as recommendations from the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower, co-chaired by the US Department of Energy.

The virtual event is free-to-attend by registering at Registrants gain access to more than 30 events over the three weeks.