The World Hydropower Congress 2023 has officially commenced in Bali, Indonesia, with the event opened with an esteemed welcome from President Joko Widodo, the 7th President of the Republic of Indonesia, underlining the significance of sustainable hydropower in the nation and beyond.

President Widodo's warm address was a testament to Indonesia's unwavering commitment to advancing the cause of sustainable hydropower. He expressed his deep appreciation for hosting this year's World Hydropower Congress in Bali, emphasizing that it serves as a pivotal platform for international collaboration towards building a sustainable, green global economy. The President stated: "Our Earth is sick, this is no longer global warming, this is global boiling, temperature rises predict 210 million people will be short of water. I hope this Congress will help with international collaboration for sustainable hydropower to help develop a sustainable green global economy."

Widodo's tenure has placed a strong emphasis on infrastructure development, with 'The Energy Sector Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions' providing a blueprint for Indonesia's transition to clean energy. Of particular note is the ambitious project, the world's largest Green Industrial Park in North Kalimantan, which will predominantly rely on hydropower for its energy needs.

The World Hydropower Congress inauguration was attended by distinguished personalities, including Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for the Government of Indonesia, the Premier of Sarawak, and Malcolm Turnbull, President of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and former Prime Minister of Australia.

Minister Tasrif conveyed Indonesia's pride in co-hosting the event in collaboration with the IHA and PLN. “Renewable energy will power the development of Indonesia. We hope this Congress will contribute to innovations for global hydropower development and reach net zero emissions targets,” he said.

This year's World Hydropower Congress has attracted over 1,000 decision-makers, innovators, and experts from various fields, including industry, government, finance, civil society, and academia. The event will feature a lineup of 200 distinguished speakers representing more than 300 organizations hailing from 43 countries. Over the course of three days, it will serve as a platform for critical policy discussions, recommendations, and commitments that are expected to significantly influence the global expansion of sustainable hydropower.

The congress aims to achieve several key objectives, including forging a consensus on policy and finance recommendations that will drive the transition towards cleaner energy and set the stage for COP28. It also seeks to overcome obstacles to renewable energy development through policy and investment-driven solutions, underlining the importance of renewable technologies in the global shift away from coal, and shedding light on the untapped hydropower potential in regions like Asia and Africa.

Abang Abdul Rahman Johari Abang Openg, Premier of the Government of Sarawak, warmly welcomed the global hydropower community back to Southeast Asia for the event. He commended Indonesia and the IHA for their efforts in uniting stakeholders to advance sustainable hydropower development.

Malcolm Turnbull, President of IHA, expressed his enthusiasm for the Congress, highlighting the importance of the mission at hand. He also praised President Joko Widodo's bold ambition of achieving 95GW of hydropower by 2060, emphasizing the significance of the various sessions and discussions that would unfold during the event. Turnbull declared: "Together, through sustainable hydropower, we are powering sustainable growth."