Wednesday 15 May 2019 | 09:30-10:45
The fourth energy revolution has arrived and with an influx of affordable solar and wind technologies, hydropower’s role in securing this green energy future is changing. The industry will need to adapt, and swiftly. Planning energy at the system scale – whether basin, national or transnational – is critical if the world is to create sustainable and secure energy systems that remain relevant in the wake of climate change. Whereas ‘system-scale’ planning has typically referred to optimising efficiencies across single source energy systems, increasingly, the process is being applied to integrated energy planning. Governments are keen to diversify their energy portfolios and take advantage of cost-effective renewable technologies, in effect, ensuring an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply. Hydropower has an important role to play in the world’s transition towards a diverse energy mix; the ability to stabilise a variable renewable energy system and provide low-carbon storage services. Though energy projections are notoriously difficult to predict, trends indicate a mainstreaming of solar and wind, with hydropower’s role becoming increasingly specialised. On top of renewables becoming progressively more competitive, climate change is predicted to make hydrological conditions less predictable for much of the world, which poses risks for energy systems that rely predominantly on hydropower. Predictions indicate the success of the industry moving forward maybe largely dependent on its ability to define a niche role in this changing energy sector.
What are the most innovative approaches for integrated energy systems?
Through case studies, the session will highlight how system-scale planning for single source and integrated energy systems can create better outcomes for people, nature and industry. Speakers will explore the right role of hydropower in creating a sustainable energy future and will spark discussion around leveraging integrated renewable energy systems to meet sustainable development and climate goals.