Coalition urges governments to step up green recovery

9 December 2020

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is uniting with over 100 leading renewable energy players – as members of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action – to urge governments to scale-up climate action. 

In a statement, the coalition says that by placing a renewables-based energy transition at the heart of an economic recovery from COVID-19, governments can support economic resilience and secure a climate-safe future.    

The statement follows a previous joint call to action issued in April 2020 and aligns well with IHA’s recommendations to governments and international financial institutions on the need for economic stimulus packages to drive growth in the renewables sector.

In an effort to ensure investments are redirected towards renewable energy sources, the IRENA Coalition for Action is urging governments to reset their recovery priorities by:

  1. Re-evaluating stimulus measures to ensure a green recovery in line with global climate objectives.
  2. Raising policy ambitions and clarifying long-term plans for renewable generation and consumption.
  3. Ensuring that energy markets can deliver continuity and stimulate investment and growth in renewables.
  4. Prioritising renewable energy as a key component of industrial policies.
  5. Aligning labour and education policies with a just energy transition.
  6. Intensifying international co-operation and action on Covid-19 while recognising renewable energy as a key part of the solution.

“Green economic stimulus packages represent the best ever opportunity to make the step adjustment to the energy transition. Hydropower sits at the heart of the transition both through direct clean energy provision and providing flexibility and storage for variable renewables,” explained IHA’s Chief Executive Eddie Rich. “The 850 GW of new hydropower capacity required by 2050 to help achieve the Paris Agreement will unlock upward of US$ 1.7 trillion of investment and some 600,000skilled jobs over the coming decade.”

The IRENA Coalition for Action brings together leading renewable energy players from around the world with the common goal of advancing the uptake of renewable energy. The Coalition facilitates global dialogues between public and private sectors to develop actions to increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix and accelerate the global energy transition.

IHA is one of 100 participants contributing to another IRENA initiative, the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower, a forum initiated by the Swiss government to promote collaboration on hydro’s role in the clean energy transition.

IRENA has called for a 150 per cent increase in annual investment in hydropower (not including pumped storage) from US$22 billion to US$55 billion per year to 2030, to support the recovery and accelerate the energy transition. For pumped storage hydropower, IRENA recommends an additional US$16 billion per year of new investment.

Last month, IHA and the US Department of Energy launched a global initiative of 11 governments and more than 70 organisations aimed at addressing the urgent need for clean and reliable energy storage and supporting the Covid-19 recovery. The International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower will develop policy proposals and exchange knowledge on the technical and market reforms necessary to overcome barriers to sustainable pumped storage hydropower projects.                                                        

In addition, IHA is one of 19 project partners taking part in the XFLEX HYDRO initiative, an ambitious €18m energy innovation project demonstrating how more flexible hydroassets can help countries and regions to meet their renewable energy targets. The EU-funded project is testing flexibility technologies across seven sites in Europe and will conclude in 2023 by delivering policy and market recommendations.  

Next September 2021, IHA will bring together leading decision-makers, innovators and experts from industry, government, finance, civil society and academia for the World Hydropower Congress in Costa Rica. 

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