Press Releases

EVENT: Developments and biodiversity of watercourses. 8-10 November 2022

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"Aménagements et biodiversité des cours d’eau" (EN: "Developments and Biodiversity of watercourses") is a conference organised by the Societé Hydrotechnique de France (SHF), next 8-10 November 2022 in Strasbourg, France.

About the conference:

This conference will aim to discuss the interactions of the developments related to watercourses and how it affects the quality of the ecosystems around them. Concretely:

    • What are the researches involved to diagnose the problems
    • Remediation issues and approaches, and feedback on them
    • Nature-based solutions and other natural infrastructures
    •  Eco-design of hydro-electric schemes and hydraulic structures in rivers,
    • Riverbank protection and vegetation engineering
    • Environmental integration of flood protection and mobilisation of flood expansion fields or overflooding areas, from catchment to local scale
    • Fishways, bypass rivers and other renaturation solutions;
    • Management of artificial lakes and dam reservoirs;
More information about the event and how to register:  HERE

Colloque amenagements diversité

CONFERENCE: "QUO VADIS? Innovation potential of Hydropower" 27 - 28 October 2022

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"QUO VADIS? Innovationspotential der Wasserkraft" (Innovation potential of Hydropower) is a conference organised by IBI- Kompetenz, the multidisciplinary platform for exchange and awareness raising in the Alpine region that gathers professionals from Italy, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The event has taken place on 27 - 28 October 2022 in Mals, South Tyrol, Italy.

The event had as objective to  put in value the role of hydropower as an energy technology source that has been with us for more than 100 years, and that remains, even now, with the ongoing developments in renewables, one of the best in terms of carbon footprint, flexibility and security in the supply.For this reason, the potential of reinvention was discussed during this event, especially regarding the environmental compatibility of hydropower projects.

Keynote speeches were given by Prof. Anton Schleiss, representing the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL): "The role of hydropower in the year 2100 – what
Innovations are necessary?" and HYDROPOWER EUROPE and ETIP HYDROPOWER Policy Officer, Mr Thomas Schleker, who talked about "Horizon Europe - Objectives of the European Research funding in the field of Hydropower"

Official website of the event: 




JOINT LETTER: Renewables displace fossil fuels - the Innovation Fund must recorgnise this

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Joint letter signed by: Bioenergy Europe, the European Heat Pump Assocition (EHPA), the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), the European Solar manufacturing Council (ESMC), the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA), Solar Heat Europe (ESTIF), Solar Power Europe, the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC), Wind Europe and the ETIP Hydropower Europe.

"Renewables displace fossil fuels. And in doing so, they make a critical contribution to decarbonisation. We
therefore welcome your efforts to rebalance the Innovation Fund to better include renewable energy"

Read it complete HERE


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 at the 7th IAHR Europe Congress (Greece)

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Prof. Anton Schleiss, from the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD - CIGB), was invited as a keynote speaker for the opening session og the 7th IAHR Europe Congress in Greece. This year's congress was dedicated to the "Innovative Water Management in a changing climate", which provided a platform for professionals, researchers, scientists and engineers in the sector of hydro, to exchange best practices to face the climate and environmental challenges that societies are facing in the last years. This allows the younger generations learn from traditional ways and show innovative solutions in matters related to climate change, specially in those aspects linked to water management and hydraulic research and its applications.

Dr. Schleiss opened the session on the 7 September 2022 with the presentation "Research and Innovation Agenda for hydropower as a catalyst for the energy transition in Europe". The participants agreed that hydropower in Europe could be enhanced at least by 20% in order to contribute to a safe and independent electricity supply in Europe strongly contributing as a catalyst to the urgent energy transition. The focus of the talk was to present the research opportunities for the hydro-environment research and engineering community based on the RIA.


Prof. Anton Schleiss during his keynote presentation at the 7th IAHR Europe Congress (Greece)


Hydro Power Industry Guide 2021/22 by VGBE

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After the success from "Hydro Power Industry guide 2020/21", our colleagues from VGBe wanted to offer us the new guide from this year: “Hydropower Industry Guide 2021/22”.

vgbe´s “Hydropower Industry Guide 2021/22” gives a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the latest products and services offered by the hydropower sector. It includes an easy-to-use directory of companies providing key products and services for the global hydropower market.It contains: 

    • Hydropower Sector Information
    • Expert Contributions
    • Company Profiles
    • Media Partner Profiles
    • vgbe energy Range of Services

POSITION PAPER: Hydropower as a catalyst and facilitator for the clean, safe and independent energy transition in Europe.

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Key Messages:

  • Given Europe’s ambition to raise the renewables target to 45%1 hydropower is critical to ensure Europe’s energy system has the necessary renewable electricity and flexibility to protect grid stability from intermittent renewable energy, to sustain the green transition.
  • While hydropower is the largest renewable non-intermittent electricity supplier in the World and in Europe, there remains significant potential, mainly through refurbishments,  new multipurpose storage projects and pumped-storage powerplants.
  • More funding is needed in research and innovation to deploy solutions at the scale required in support of sustainable solutions that offer win-win situations for the environment and from an operational perspective. 
  • Europe must protect against periods of dunkelflaute by including flexible power generation and dispatchable large capacity renewable storage, like hydropower, in national targets.
  • To ensure there is enough hydropower to meet Europe’s decarbonization goals and maintain energy security, hydropower must have a prominent role within the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan.
  • The upcoming ETIP will serve as the basis for collaboration between stakeholders on hydropower and increase their visibility within the SET Plan

Read the complete position paper HERE.

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 





The 2022 ICOLD Congress in Marseille

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The Congress of the International Commission on Large Dams" was held in Marseille (France) from Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June 2022 with over 1400 participants. 


ICOLD includes 104 members countries and 28 Technical Committees working on current technical issues related to water resource development and management.


The presence of more than 200 young engineers and more than 200 exhibitors shows the enthusiasm of the profession after two years of restrictions caused by COVID19.



In this congress four questions were discussed. Among these, Question 107 was dedicated to Dams and Climate Change Interesting papers explore impacts of climatic change on existing dams and reservoirs and remedies or on needs of dams and reservoirs and levees (water storage, floods mitigation, oceans raising). Other papers explain the favourable impacts of dams on the climatic change. The evaluation of greenhouse gases emissions by reservoirs and dams construction was also addressed.


Another interesting question, Q106, was devoted to "Surveillance, Instrumentation, Monitoring and Data Acquisition and Processing”. New technologies in instrumentation and monitoring were introduced. Data acquisition and large data processing to evaluate the behavior of dams were highlighted: case studies and new methods including artificial intelligence were discussed.


Anton Schleiss presented the outcomes of the HYDROPOWER EUROPE and its two main deliverables: the Research and Innovation Agenda and the Strategic Industry Roadmap.

Prof. Anton Schleiss presenting the outcomes of the HYDROPOWER EUROPE project during the General Assembly of ICOLD

7 technical visits and two post-congress tours enabled the visit of hydroelectric plants operated by EDF and CNR in France, ENEL, CVA and Edison in Italy.

The visit of Place Moulin dam operated by CVA (Italy) during post-congress tour


The CFBR symposium

A symposium was organised just before the congress on a subject of interest to the future of the profession: « Sharing water: multi-purpose of reservoirs and innovations ». It was split on four themes:

·       Theme 1: Territorial and water multi-purpose issues 

·       Theme 2: Governance and funding 

·       Theme 3: Innovative solutions in reservoirs uses 

·       Theme 4: Operating multipurpose facilities 

A round table exploring the future needs of reservoirs closed this symposium: “dams and reservoirs: the challenges for tomorrow”. A good introduction was presented by Thierry Caquet (INRAE, symposium SHARING WATER Marseille 2022). He mentioned that today 1.9 bil. people live in potential severely water scarce areas and by 2050 with increasing climate change impacts around 4 billions of people will live under water stress (Burek et al., 2016). 

We invite you to visit the website of the French Committee on Dams and Reservoirs, if you want to have access to the papers and presentations through the link: Marseille_symposium (

Dams and art

Finally, Patrick le Delliou from the French Committee CFBR invites you to see a movie illustrating how dams can be integrated in our culture with the use of dam cladding as a support for artistic work (painted frescoes, projection...). The link below allows you to see and download this movie in HD format (513 MB).

Marseille_vidéo (

NEW PUBLICATION, Hydroscience Journal: "Hydropower, a catalyst for energy transition in Europe"

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On the context of HydroES 2021 (22 September 2021), Hydropower Europe had the chance to present its vision and results achieved during three years of consultations. Some of the conclusions are:

  1. Hydropower still has a great potential for development
  2. Hydropower sector needs strategic actions and recommendations for policymakers, but also needs to improve the communication across the stakeholder chain.
  3. Hydropower industry needs a unique and common voice at European level.

Read the complete paper clicking HERE.

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