IHA protocol promotes sustainable hydropower
Updated: 2011-09-24 10:42
BEIJING - The Chinese version of the International Hydropower Association (IHA)'s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment was jointly published on Sept 23 by the IHA and the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research.
The publication of the protocol is designed to drive the sustainable development of the country's hydropower industry, Vice Minister of Water Resources Hu Siyi said at a launching ceremony for the document.
"The protocol will play an important role in introducing advanced concepts, technology and managerial experience from the global market," Hu said.
Although China is ranked first in the world in terms of total installed hydropower capacity, the overall development of its hydropower industry has been lackluster, Hu said. China will need to increase its efforts to develop hydropower if it wants to meet its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent before 2020, he said.
The flexibility and low cost of hydropower has led countries around the world to develop their own hydropower industries for the purposes of optimizing their energy structures, reducing emissions, protecting the environment and promoting sustainability, Hu said.
"We have made developing hydropower a top priority and will accelerate its development without spoiling the environment or taking away local residents' benefits," Hu said.
According to Wu Guihui, chief engineer of the National Energy Administration, China will have to expand its installed hydropower capacity to 350 million kilowatts from the current 200 million kilowatts in order to achieve its emission-reduction target.
In addition to providing comparable assessments for domestic projects, the protocol will also provide a platform for international communication and aid the nation's firms and banks in investing in other countries, said Joerg Hartmann, a water security officer for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and a member of the protocol's governance committee.
The protocol, which provides a set of quantitative assessment tools for hydropower sustainability, was first launched in Brazil in June after being completed last November. The IHA, established in 1995, is a non-governmental organization devoted to promoting the use of sustainable hydropower.