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Experts gather to define priorities for the future of Europe’s Hydropower industry

The aim of the Horizon2020 project, HYDROPOWER EUROPE, is to provide a focal point for reviewing and developing hydropower in Europe, and subsequently European hydropower in
the wider world. On 25th March 2020, nearly 40 experts participated in an online workshop from their home offices across Europe providing valuable input on evaluation of the first drafts of the Research and Innovation Agenda (R&IA) and Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR). Prior to the workshop, the experts had access to the draft documents and were invited to provide their written comments.

The goal of the R&IA is to provide recommendations on the R&I priorities for hydro to the EU institutions and national authorities, in order to contribute towards shaping public spending for R&I. The document will also provide a useful reference to the entire hydropower community.

As far as the goal of the SIR is concerned, the roadmap aims at understanding why communities, i.e. stakeholders, accept/reject hydropower projects, to promote the best and innovative practices in hydropower development and to formulate recommendations (both to public authorities and private stakeholders) as to how hydropower can contribute to the successful energy system transition, preserve the environment and increase societal resilience. The SIR recognizes the overarching societal needs and trends, reflected or based on strategic European energy policy & ambition.

Due to a current outbreak of COVID 19, the initial plan to organize a 2-day face to face workshop in Brussels was cancelled. Thus, HYDROPOWER EUROPE management decided to arrange an online session instead, inviting the experts to contribute to the discussions from their home offices. Altogether 11 topics were reviewed:

Session 1: Barriers to large scale deployment of all sizes of hydropower
Session 2: Hydropower for a better society
Session 3: Continual improvement of the protection of the environment
Session 4: Funding Hydropower Research and deployment
Session 5: Increasing Flexibility
Session 6: Optimisation of operations and maintenance
Session 7: Resilience of electromechanical equipment, construction and material technology
Session 8: Resilience of Infrastructures
Session 9: Developing new emerging concepts
Session 10: Environmental-friendly solutions
Session 11: Mitigating impact of global warming

The HYDROPOWER EUROPE consortium comprises 8 partners: ICOLD: International Commission on Large Dams (coordinator); EASE: European Association for Storage of Energy; EREF: European Renewable Energies Federation; EUREC: Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres; IHA: International Hydropower Association; SAMUI: Samui France sarl; VGB: VGB PowerTech e.V.; Zabala Innovation Consulting (Zabala Brussels).

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