The international bodies representing the geothermal and hydropower sectors, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) have announced plans to work closely together to ensure the sustainability of renewable energy resources.
At the opening ceremony of the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1 in Reykjavik, Iceland, IGA said it will adopt sustainability performance criteria drawn from those developed in the hydropower sector.
The IGA will work towards adopting a Geothermal Sustainability Standard based on the same governance framework as the Hydropower Sustainability Standard and its decade-old assessment protocol and guidelines.
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard, a certification scheme for hydropower, is governed by a multistakeholder Hydropower Sustainability Council and supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA).
Executive Director of The International Geothermal Association (IGA), Marit Brommer, commented: “Sustainable renewable energy is a key enabler of a low-carbon future. Today, with the handover of the GSAP from Iceland to IGA, we have a huge opportunity to move sustainable geothermal forward and play an important role in battling climate change. On behalf of IGA I thank Iceland for their leadership, commitment and inspiration. We are now the proud holders of an important tool and I am excited to work with IHA to shape our future collaboration between our two leading industry associations.”
Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, said: “All renewable sectors can and should demonstrate and improve their sustainability. In the hydropower sector we are delighted to share our experience of working with industry, governments, NGOs and international financial institutions to build understanding of achieving good and best practice.
“We commit to work with IGA and all interested stakeholders on the development of a global geothermal standard. Based on this example of sectors working together, I look forward to a day when we have a common sustainability framework for all renewables.”
Hydropower Sustainability Standard
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard was launched at the World Hydropower Congress on 8 September 2021 to ensure that hydropower projects across the world are recognised and certified for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
Achieving certification under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard helps companies to demonstrate alignment with the green bond requirements of the Climate Bonds Initiative and the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Investment, as well as with World Bank and IFC performance standards.
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard builds on performance criteria agreed a decade ago through the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) by a coalition of industry, governments, multilateral and financial institutions and civil society organisations. Contributors included the World Bank, WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Oxfam and Transparency International, and the governments of Iceland, Norway, Zambia and China.
Geothermal Sustainability Standard
Iceland, the host of the World Geothermal Congress, is rich in hydropower and geothermal resources and the country has actively participated for decades in the work of IHA and IGA.
The development of a Geothermal Sustainability Standard will draw on a Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol (GSAP) that was developed over the past five years based on the HSAP.
Two assessments based on the GSAP have now been carried through on geothermal projects in Iceland, one for the 90 MW Theistareykir project and the other for the 300 MW Hellisheidi power plant. The testing was performed by lead assessors accredited by the Hydropower Sustainability Council.
Source: Release by email