Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines
Finding the right balance is fundamental. Sustainability criteria demand that economic decisions incorporate environmental stewardship and social justice. To give guidance, the IHA has developed Sustainability Guidelines. Supplementing these is an Assessment Protocol which sets out a system by which sustainability performance can be measured. It is expected that the Protocol will become the primary tool for certifying the sustainability of hydropower development, and the IHA is working with several international partners to progress this matter.
Sustainability assessment is applicable to both existing schemes and new developments. Europe and North America tend to have the most advanced regulatory frameworks. While comprehensive assessment is necessary, much superfluous bureaucracy is created in the development of new projects and the periodic re-licensing of existing installations. The high administration costs are a significant burden, especially for smaller companies. In Europe, both the Water Framework and Emissions Trading Directives are in need of clarification regarding hydropower. For the 'transition' countries and the developing world, regulations relating to the Kyoto mechanisms need to be better understood. In addition, financial institutions must standardise their policies to avoid unnecessary duplication and inefficiency.
Fig. 7-6 (Sechelt Creek hydropower development in British Columbia, Canada)