On September 7, the 2021 World Hydropower Congress co-organized by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the Costa Rican government officially kicked off. Under the theme of "Renewables working together in an interconnected world", Mr. Wu Xuan, Secretary General of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), was invited to make a keynote speech at the opening plenary. He said that hydropower is a clean, low-carbon, and highly efficient renewable energy that is bound to play an important role in Global Energy Interconnection (GEI).
Global challenges such as climate change, environmental pollution, resource shortage, poverty and health issues, are threatening the development and even existence of humanity at an alarming pace. In essence, GEI is "Smart Grid + UHV Grid + Clean Energy". GEI is a modern energy system that is clean energy-dominant, wide in coverage, and electricity-centric. It is an important platform for the large-scale development, delivery and use of clean energy resources, providing a systematic solution to world energy transition and sustainable development.
Hydropower ensures affordable energy as the pillar of low-carbon electricity and an accelerator for other renewable energy, Wu said. In 2020, hydropower generated a total of 4,500 TWh of electricity worldwide, more than the sum of other renewable energy sources combined, equivalent to reducing 2 billion tons of coal, and cutting CO2 emission by 3.8 billion tons. With its high quality and flexibility, hydropower can serve as a regulator in GEI. It can coordinate and compensate with other intermittent and fluctuating power sources, such as wind power and PV, to greatly scale up renewable energy development and enhance its efficiency and return on investment.
On September 8, Ms. Li Jun, Deputy Director General ofGEIDCO’s Economic and Technology Research Institute, participated in the panelsession themed on "Interconnected Grid and Energy Security" of the2021 World Hydropower Congress online. She said that clean replacement andelectricity replacement provide feasible solutions to climate change.Hydropower development will catalyze grid interconnection and electricitytrade, with great development prospects. It is of great significance for ensuringnetwork stability and sufficient power supply for energy systems with highpenetration of renewable energy.
This opening high-level plenary will set the scene forthe Congress, with the release of the SanJose Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, which will highlight howsustainable hydropower can support variable renewables to tackle climate changeand achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.