Press Clippings

Press Clippings

ETIP HYDROPOWER EUROPE: The permanent and common voice of Hydropower in Europe

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ETIP Hydropower Europe (ETIP Hydropower) is a new project in the EU programme Horizon Europe under the call HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-02-15: Support to the activities of the ETIPs and technology areas of the SET Plan. The goal is to enhance the cooperation among diverse stakeholders from industry, academia, civil society or associations around the hydropower sector, to provide an adequate advice to the development needs and the alignment with the climate and energy policies of the European Union. The project will have a budget of just less than one million euros and will be developed over three years, with the objective of working towards the consolidation of the network beyond this timeframe. 

Definition and need for an ETIP Hydropower

A European Technology and innovation Platform (ETIP) is an EU Coordination and Support Action (CSA) created in 2015 by the European Union in order to contribute to the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) and its roadmap. It seeks to bring together similar initiatives and fora that would allow the cooperation and joint implementation of activities.

The ambitious energy transition targets in Europe require a series of changes towards the adoption of cleaner and low-carbon energy generation. In 2020, according to EUROSTAT, hydropower accounted for one third of the total electricity generated from renewable sources, however, only two thirds of the current feasible potential have been exploited so far. 

This strong development potential, combined with the ability to align supply with demand due to its low variability and unmatched flexibility, makes hydropower a good ally to become a catalyst for energy transition. Still, hydropower faces several environmental, societal, technological, and commercial challenges that demand new approaches. A permanent and common voice of all hydropower stakeholders is needed to support research and innovation actions, as well as increasing public awareness.

Background: HYDROPOWER EUROPE project

HYDROPOWER EUROPE Project was created under the European Union call: “H2020-LC-SC3-2018-2019-2020 (BUILDING A LOW-CARBON, CLIMATE RESILIENT FUTURE: SECURE, CLEAN AND EFFICIENT ENERGY)” and has been running from November 2018 to February 2022. 

Despite the difficulties from COVID19, the project gathered more than 600 stakeholders from the hydropower sector who participated in several consultation processes in the 40 months that the project lasted. The aim was to create a common agreement, reviewing and developing the needs for hydropower in the future. 

After this extensive consultation, the Research and Innovation Agenda (RIA) and the Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR) were developed. The final reports (~140 pages each) present 18 research themes with 80 topics (RIA) and 11 strategic directions which include 40 detailed actions (SIR), that tackle a wide range of areas, from social acceptance and communication, to environmental strategies and regulations.

The new ETIP Hydropower

The new ETIP Hydropower will be led again by the International Commission of Large Dams (ICOLD) and due to the positive feedback, the rest of the partners will remain the same: SAMUI Research and Consultancy, the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers (EUREC), VGB Powertech, ZABALA Innovation Europe, the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

Hydropower Europe project ended with the establishment of a number of strategic actions and research topics after the consultation with an expert panel. For this reason, the consortium, is well suited to integrate these into the SET Plan roadmap and continue consolidating the network of +600 representatives into a sustainable association, which will be interweaved with other renewable energy sector initiatives, with the common objective of supporting the European energy transition.

 The structure for implementing ETIP HYDROPOWER is shown below. Five Working Packages (WP) are proposed alongside with an Advisory Board and the Working Groups (WG).

      • WP1 Coordination: support of the overall ETIP HYDROPOWER project, ensuring its transformation into a sustainable association beyond project timeline
      • WP2 Supporting priority actions for the SET plan, ETIP interaction and collaboration: support the structure of the ETIP governance, implementation of the ETIP processes, interaction with the SET plan and set up and maintain a strategy for cooperation with other ETIPs.
      • WP3 Supporting priority actions for the HPE Forum, RIA and SIR: support the orientation of the industry WGs, the creation and implementation of the detailed mapping of R&I actions.
      • WP4 Strategic actions: support the communication activities that aim to increase awareness and promotion of best practices of the industry
      • WP5 HPE forum sustainability & support services: support across the whole ETIP
      • Advisory Board: produces a mechanism o draw further expertise in the hydropower sector and to help ensure that the ETIP builds from knowledge in the sector
      • ETIP HYDROPOWER WGs: these will be created to address the issues across a variety of topics.

To summarise, ETIP HYDROPOWER aims to promote the role of hydropower as a catalyst in the energy transition of Europe. This requires an objective approach across all aspects of energy sources and finding the optimal pathway. Addressing different aspects of hydropower (i.e., the counterbalancing benefits, the impacts of different forms of hydropower and the solutions to avoid disruptions on biodiversity) is at the core of this ETIP. The successful integration of hydropower into the SET Plan and the European clean energy transition process will have a major impact on this transition and on further research to find solutions to those setbacks.

Prof. Anton Schleiss: "If the reservoirs weren't there, we would already be in a blackout everywhere"

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HYDROPOWER EUROPE colleague Anton Schleiss recently gave an interview for S&P Global Market Intelligence about the importance of hydropower in the current drought crisis that is affecting, with special virulence, the southern countries of Europe. 

The article tackles the complicated situation of the hydro operators in the Iberian peninsula, Italy and France, where the production plants' production declined sharply due to the low rainfall. In this setting, hydro operators are forced to buy energy at very high prices to replace the missing water volume.

According to experts, "Fluctuations in hydro generation are nothing new, but the frequency of extreme conditions is increasing as a result of climate change".

Read the complete article HERE.

Patrick Federi in Unsplash 





Review of performance of Pumped Storage Hydropower and needed R&I investment

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The Working Group 2 of the ETIP SNET, managed by Franco Di Persio, has completed :

They provide the technology pathways to meet the needs of the different Use Cases of Storage and they will be used to prioritize European R&I investments on Energy Storage applications. 

They demonstrate the large range of use cases and the high level of performance of Pumped Storage Hydropower. They provide you with information to make informed decisions on national and EU investment on PSH.

Based on these tables, a position paper is under preparation (see a draft version here). Its objective is to make informed decisions on EU R&I efforts on energy storage technologies. If you want to comment and complete these tables and/or contribute to the Position Paper, your are invited to do it before Tuesday the 15th of February 2022 and send the amended documents to 


Hydropower Europe featured at "Energetyka Wodna" magazine

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 Our colleague Jean-Jacques FRY was featured in "Energetyka Wodna"​ magazine with his article: " HYDROPOWER EUROPE – A ROADMAP FOR EUROPEAN HYDROPOWER SECTOR DEVELOPMENT" where he explains the role of hydropower in the European energy transition, what we do at HYDROPOWER EUROPE forum and promotes the Research and Innovation Agenda (RIA) and the Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR). These last can be found here:

Full article can be found here:


Energetyka Wodna magazine

ICOLD - HYDROPOWER EUROPE'S 2nd stakeholder online consultation is now open

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Press release, 28th July 2020


ETIP SNET - Webinar on “Flexible generation in a low-carbon RES dominated energy system”

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The ETIP SNET Working Group 3 on flexible generation hosted the webinar  “Flexible generation in a low-carbon RES dominated energy system” on the 30th June 2020.

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EASE - News about Second Expert Panel Consultation

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Experts gather to define research and innovation priorities for the future of Europe’s Hydropower industry.

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Cordis wire - The second consultation process launched

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HYDROPOWER EUROPE, built on the ambition to achieve a research and innovation agenda and a strategic industry roadmap for the hydropower sector, has launched the 2nd wider Stakeholder Consultation.

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ZABALA Spain - News about the interactive workshop

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Más de 160 miembros de la industria hidroeléctrica, la sociedad civil y representantes de políticas se reunieron la semana pasada para abordar los desafíos de la energía hidroeléctrica como catalizador de la transición a la energía limpia, en el evento digital de HYDROPOWER EUROPE.

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Hydroreview News - Second stakeholder consultation period now open for Hydropower Europe

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Hydropower Europe has launched its second online consultation on priorities for proposed research and innovation actions.

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