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Hydropower Emphasized at U.N.'s COP 18 in Qatar

Hydroelectricity's role in the global energy mix was emphasized earlier today by the International Hydropower Association during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Qatar.

The International Hydropower Association (IHA), speaking on behalf of the International Renewable Energy Alliance at the U.N.'s COP 18, noted that energy and climate policies like the U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism, the European Union's mandate, and U.S. President Barack Obama's "all-of-the-above" strategy are driving countries to increase their green portfolios.

Hydropower's ability to provide energy storage and system stability alongside its generating qualities make it worthy of consideration, according to IHA Programme Director Tracy Lane.

"Hydropower already provides base load and peaking supply in many countries," Lane said. "But it can also provide important ancillary services. These include regulation, frequency response, reactive supply, scheduling and black start service."

Lane also emphasized the role of hydro in responding to climate change via water management.

"Water infrastructure is critical to global water security and to ensuring resilience to the impacts of climate change," she said. "Hydropower can have a role to play in providing the financing for water storage infrastructure, which is critical to adapaation in the water sector.

"Adding the hydropower component not only provides low-carbon electricity, but also enables communities to benefit from multiple services of water storage."

IHA and the International Renewable Energy Alliance say they are "actively participating" at the conference to ensure hydropower is fully recognized for its potential contributions in fostering development.

The organization was also active at last year's Conference of Parties (COP 17), which was held in Durban, South Africa.

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