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CA21104 - Pan-European Network for Sustainable Hydropower

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Hydropower (HP) played an essential role in Europe over decades, providing a unique combination of safe, low-cost, and clean electricity production. It is still one of the largest renewable energy sources (RES), adding up to about 35% of the electricity generated from RES. Predictions show that by 2024-2025 all RES will contribute almost 34% to the worldwide electricity production, and HP will provide approx. 50%.

Europe shows an almost equal share of electricity from volatile wind (36.5%) and predictable hydropower sources (34.3%) for 2019. This trend of an increasing quantity of unregulated energy (wind plus solar) involves market requirements for flexibility and dynamics such as energy storage and fast response. In that case, HP has the potential to balance a renewable energy system on a short term (seconds to minutes) and on a medium to long term (months or even years) basis by using pumped-storage technology.

New requirements in terms of operation and maintenance of Hydropower plants as well as co-generation of electricity with other RES needs substantial future research. As past funding of research projects was low, this new initiative should work together for a better knowledge exchange, capacity building of young researchers to meet the needs of the future.

The main objective of this Action is to establish a Pan-European network for a sustainable, digitalised Hydropower contributing to the Clean Energy Transition (CET), a united network of researchers, engineers, scholars, and other stakeholders, such as representatives from industry, policy and civil society, to facilitate close collaboration among European research groups through projects supporting sustainable Hydropower.