IHA and IRENA coalition call for renewables-driven recovery

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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has teamed up with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and more than 100 renewable energy organisations to issue a joint call for action urging policy-makers to prioritise green growth as part of their Covid-19 recovery plans.

The recommendations cover a range of priority actions to ensure a rapid and sustained economic recovery, promoting renewable solutions as well as the need for market and policy frameworks that support storage and flexibility – services which are provided by sustainable hydropower.

The call for action says: “To provide long-term policy certainty in this time of crisis, governments must consider affirming existing and planned support schemes, as well as continuing to implement appropriate market and policy frameworks that support grid development, storage and flexibility, and other infrastructure critical to support a higher penetration of renewable energy.

“Permitting and siting approvals should be fast-tracked so that the renewable energy industry can plan ahead and protect its workforce.”

Last week IRENA published its 2020 Global Renewables Outlook, which called for stimulus and recovery packages that will “accelerate the shift to sustainable, decarbonised economies and resilient inclusive societies”.

Recovery measures should include investment in “interconnected hydropower” among other technologies, said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “With the need for energy decarbonisation unchanged, such investments can safeguard against short-sighted decisions and greater accumulation of stranded assets.”

The Global Renewables Outlook says that “hydropower can bring important synergies to the energy system of the future” thanks to its multiple uses and synergies with other renewable energy technologies. Policy-makers and planners around the world need to “start thinking now” about building new hydropower projects, the organisation said.

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