1st Wider Stakeholder Consultation

This online consultation is part of the HYDROPOWER EUROPE consultation process which aims to gather the feedback from all stakeholders across the hydropower community in Europe. In order to drive the consultation process and keep the focus on the relevant issues, the HYDROPOWER EUROPE Consortium developed the following supporting documents:

  1. "Hydropower technologies: state-of-the-art" : Provides a comprehensive overview of the current statuses of hydropower technologies and highlights room for further developments.
  2. "Discussion paper on the Strategic Industry Roadmap" : Introduces the main issues to be further explored in the Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR)

Feedback on any aspects of both documents is sought.  Your suggestions will be reviewed by members of the HPE project team in conjunction with members of the Consultation Expert Panel and then used as a foundation for drafting and editing the two documents.

The Research & Innovation Agenda (RIA)

The goal of the RIA is to provide recommendations on research and innovation (R&I) priorities for the hydropower sector to EU institutions, national authorities and the hydropower industry in order to help guide and steer priorities for R&I spending. The document will provide a useful reference for the entire hydropower community.

Starting from the current status of hydro technologies, the RIA will identify the main challenges for further hydro development and the related R&I gaps. R&I needs for hydro will be listed and clarified, specifying the type of challenge, expected results, R&I activities needed, relevant stakeholders, an indicative timeframe and an assessment of the type and amount of resources needed.

The RIA is not only limited to technological issues, such as equipment and infrastructure improvement and extension or advancement of operation managing systems. It will also address environmental, social, economic and sustainable development issues, helping to understand how communities and the general public react to hydro projects and how social acceptance may be enhanced. However, the RIA will look at these issues exclusively through a research and innovation perspective.

The R&I needs will also be prioritised according to criteria that will be defined by the HEP Consultation Expert Panel (e.g. consistency with EU policy objectives, maturity of the technology, expected benefits, etc.).

The Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR)

The Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR) will discuss the non-technical barriers to hydro deployment. The goal of the SIR is to:

  1. understand why communities (i.e. stakeholders), accept/reject hydropower projects,
  2. promote the best and innovative practices in hydropower development and
  3. 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.

Hence, the SIR will discuss non-technical barriers to hydro deployment, with the main focus being on social acceptance, mitigation of environmental impacts and ensuring finance for hydropower (including pumped storage). Other issues fostering hydropower deployment will also be considered, such as innovative business models, standardisation and regulatory issues.

Differences and Complementarities

The SIR and the RIA are strictly interlinked, since implementing any of the R&I priorities (identified under the RIA) will need to take into account the issues (and recommendations) discussed in the SIR. The focus and the perspective of the two documents is quite different: the SIR looks broadly at the hydropower sector and it’s role in the future energy system (identifying the barriers to be overcome to reach that point and suggesting solutions), whilst the RIA focuses exclusively on technical improvement actions, including also impact mitigation, and is hence complementary to the SIR.