PSR researchers are co-authors in an international article on strategies for hydroelectricity to support the expansion of renewable

Publication – 19.01.2023

Rafael Kelman, Executive Director of PSR, together with PSR consultant Tainá Martins are co-authors of the article “Balancing renewable energy and river resources by moving from indi-vidual assessments of hydropower projects to energy system planning”, led by Jeff Opper-man (Global lead scientist for freshwater - WWF), along with other researchers from the US, Canada, the UK, Vietnam, Colombia and Nepal. The article explores strategies for hydropower to support the expansion of renewable ener-gy in ways that safeguard the many social and environmental benefits of rivers. Strategies include (1) individual measures such as defining ecological flows, building fish pas-sage structures and other mitigation measures; (2) measures for the set of hydroelectric cas-cades in the hydrographic basins; (3) measures within the scope of regional electricity sys-tems.

Despite evidence that management and individual mitigation per project reduce the envi-ronmental and social costs of projects, the article argues that the most effective scale to seek balanced solutions is that of energy systems, as it generates more benefits for investors, developers and governments.

Finally, the article also shows, based on a case study in Colombia, that the reduction of risks and conflicts should be part of the planning for the selection of hydroelectric projects be-cause it improves the financial result for investors.

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