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In a stride towards enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of hydropower systems, a consortium led by members of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) has finalized a pivotal publication titled “Recommendations Towards the Deployment of Hydropower Flexibility Technologies” as part of the XFLEX HYDRO project.

The XFLEX HYDRO project is also an European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation project with the objective to show hydropower’s technical and strategic role in demonstrating how renewable-based generation can be achieved in a secure and reliable manner. Thanks to this project, the sector has gained a better understanding of the flexibility that the existing EU hydropower fleet can provide to the electrical system, and demonstrated how, using a set of innovative technologies, this flexibility potential can be optimised and enhanced. 

The project puts hydropower at the forefront of innovation, strengthening the industry’s know-how, improving its technology export potential, and facilitating job creation. This document is designed to speak to a wide range of stakeholders and its content is laid out in a manner so that the relevant information is clear, accessible, and actionable by the reader. The technical part of this report provides the key takeaways from the project and enables plant owners and energy experts to identify opportunities to introduce some of the findings in their plants.

For instance, this are the seven key recommendations that emerged:

    1. Recognise and value hydro flexibility as an essential service to the power system to achieve a successful energy transition.‍
    2. Remove regulatory barriers for unrestricted implementation and operation of hydro flexibility technologies.‍
    3. Provide remuneration mechanisms enabling investment in flexibility.
    4. Facilitate cross-border collaboration for efficient exchange of flexibility services.  ‍
    5. Streamline licensing renewals for optimised hydropower operations.
    6. Conduct system-level analysis to anticipate and address future flexibility needs.
    7. Promote support mechanisms for the modernisation of ageing hydropower infrastructure.

Download the full report here. Also, a more concise article developing the 7 policy recommendations is available. 

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