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Hydropower, need to double production by 2050. The IRENA report

Hydropower is the most mature renewable technology, but must face new challenges to adapt to climate change

The International Renewable Energy Agency has published a new report on hydroelectric energy entitled "The changing role of hydro power: challenges and opportunities".

An analysis addressed to policy makers and renewables professionals that provides a snapshot of the current state of hydropower and outlines a series of actions that can be implemented to realize its full potential.


Hydroelectric power, essential to modernize obsolete technologies

According to the IRENA report, hydropower, despite being the most mature renewable technology, must now face a series of significant challenges, first of all the drought that is affecting many areas of the world, including Italy.

In this context, it is necessary to modernize obsolete hydropower production technologies to meet the requirements of the modern energy system and, In this way, attract new investments by upgrading the hydroelectric market through the promotion and development of innovations.

The report also stresses that the development of hydropower must be a priority because it is the largest renewable energy source in the world and also provides many services, including storage of drinking water for irrigation and increased resistance to flooding and drought.

Most of the hydroelectric potential is located in developing countries, and financial institutions must work with governments to overcome local risks and constraints and target investments.


Doubling the production of hydropower

In order to achieve the decarbonization targets by 2050, it is crucial that hydropower production doubles. This will require annual investments of more than 5 times the current ones.

IRENA Managing Director Francesco La Camera said the importance of increasing investment "Hydropower has been an effective source of clean energy generation for more than a century. However, with the rapidly changing energy landscape, it is important to re-evaluate its future role and exploit recent technological advances that can maximize its potential while ensuring its sustainability and climate resilience".

Download the full IRENA report to read all the details!

Available documents

Rapporto IRENA energia idroelettrica
Technical Focuses - IT