Hydropower project developers and operators in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas have until May 2021 to apply for the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Assessment Fund.
The fund – designed to help developers and operators assess their environmental, social and government (ESG) performance – will award a total of 1 million Swiss Francs (US$ 1.02m) to 40 or more hydropower projects over four years. The initiative is managed by the International Hydropower Association (IHA)’s non-profit sustainability division and funded by the Swiss government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
Recipients will receive a grant to part sponsor the cost of commissioning an independent project assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG), one of the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools.
The grant will co-finance independent assessors, who are accredited by IHA and a multi-stakeholder governance council, to carry out an assessment using the HESG. The assessment involves a site visual inspection and interviews with stakeholders and concludes with an official report and a gap management plan.
Following a first call for proposals in 2020, the fund part sponsored six assessments, including the Stortemelk project in South Africa. The 4.3 MW run-of-river plant developed by Stortemelk Hydro, a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), achieved global good practice across 10 environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance criteria in the independent assessment.
Projects under preparation and development, as well as those already in operation, are all eligible for the grant. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong track record or commitment to sustainability and show that their project aligns with national or regional development policies.
The second call for proposals is now open and a sum of CHF 350,000 will be awarded to 14 projects from the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Kyrgyz Republic
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- North Macedonia
- South Africa
For any questions, please email: [email protected]