Focus Session


Modernising hydropower to support a cleaner energy mix

Wednesday 15 May 2019 | 09:30-10:45

Today’s hydropower totalling 1,267 GW contributes around two thirds of global clean electricity produced annually. By 2030, it is estimated that over half the existing fleet will have been, or be due to undergo upgrade and modernisation.

Retaining existing hydro plants will be critical for the future energy mix. Innovative technologies are being implemented in modernisation that go beyond business-as-usual and standard renovations. Investments in upgrades look to realise new benefits and revenue streams, reduce operating risks and costs, and improve sustainability.

Understanding the potential and how best to plan projects is therefore a top priority, especially for decision-making on future generating capacity. This session will share strategies being implemented by major players to modernise major plants, and discuss the opportunities as well as the risks for the sector.

Session objectives:

What innovative approaches exist to retain and enhance the current hydropower fleet?

SDG 9 recognises the need to retrofit existing infrastructure by 2030, taking advantage of efficiency increases, sustainability and industrial innovation. This session will:

  • Highlight the global need for modernising existing hydropower;
  • Present major modernisation programmes implemented or planned;
  • Support decision-making for new extension projects.

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