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2017 World Hydropower Congress opens in Addis Ababa

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[来源]:网站管理员 [日期]:2017-05-09 

Addis  Ababa, May 9, 2017 (ECA) – The 6th World  Hydropower Congress (WHC) kicked-off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today with  Acting Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Executive Secretary, Abdalla  Hamdok, calling on the continent to come up with strong and coherent policies  to promote faster and more inclusive growth through the optimal use of  hydropower and other sources of renewable energy.

Mr.  Hamdok said with more than 600 million people in Africa living without access  to electricity and households continuing to rely on traditional biomass for  cooking, it was pertinent for Africa to tap into its vast renewable energy  sources.

“With  clear vision coupled with strong and coherent policy action to promote faster  and more inclusive growth, the continent has the potential to take the lead in  innovation, technologies and business models that utilise hydropower optimally  and efficiently,” he said.

 However, said Mr. Hamdok, it is equally important  for the continent to guard against negative impacts of hydropower development  and to pay close attention to climate resilience and social inclusion.

“This is  mostly linked to growing concerns regarding hydropower sustainability,  including the over-reliance on hydropower which could possibly compromise  energy security in many countries, especially in the context of drought,” he said.

"I  am glad to note that the agenda of this congress includes items of  environmental and social impact in the context of hydropower development,"  added Mr. Hamdok.

He also  said it is important to develop an integrated approach to the management of  water for irrigation and energy production, adding the ECA and the AUC are  working closely with key stakeholders on a number of initiatives to promote low  carbon energy development as well as innovative financing regimes for clean  energy infrastructure projects to support the implementation of both the global  Sustainable Development Goals Agenda and the Africa Union’s Agenda  2063.

Ethiopian  Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, officially opened the congress telling  delegates development was unthinkable in the absence of adequate and affordable  energy.

He shared  with delegates what Ethiopia is doing to advance the use of hydropower and  renewable energy sources, adding Africa will not achieve the 17 Sustainable  Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development without  universal access to electricity.

“I would  like to reiterate the need for collective efforts to mitigate the effects of  climate change,” he said as he  emphasized the need for the world to pull together on this front.

Hydropower,  the Prime Minister said, is crucial to providing reliable and sustainable  energy development for transformation of Africa’s  economies.

For his  part, African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, Quartey Thomas Kwesi,  focused his speech on hydropower’s role in  addressing Africa’s energy challenges  and Africa’s regional plans in  the energy sector, in particular hydropower plants, under the Programme for  Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

“Access to  modern and sustainable energy services is crucial to achieving sustainable,  transformative and inclusive development,” said Mr.  Kwesi.

“The  development and expansion of renewable energy provides one of the most  effective strategies to simultaneously promote development, sustainable energy  access and energy security as well as climate change mitigation at the global,  continental and regional levels.”

Liu  Zhenya, chairman of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and  Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), presented to the participants the concept of ‘global energy interconnection’(GEI) as “the inevitable way out for clean and  low-carbon energy transition”.

“It is  imperative for us to accelerate the green and low-carbon transition. The key to  realising that is to bring forward a new energy supply system prioritised by  clean energy development and power supply with large-scale optimal allocation  of the GEI platform,”he said.

“Let’s work  hand in hand for African energy interconnections with more communication and  common consent, and make our due contribution to sustainable development.”

Ken  Adams, president of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) said  hydropower cannot be done in isolation.

“My  message today is that achieving Sustainable Development Goals will not be  possible without breaking barriers and widening the scope of collaboration  between all of our institutions. We must embrace the fact that one single  technology will not resolve the challenges of our generation,” he said.

“We need  more hydropower on the grid, as it plays a role as a flexible, sustainable  generation source. We also need it to play the often unrecognised role of  energy storage.”

Rachel  Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and special representative of  the UN secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All said: "Better  Hydro is an important way to meet the goal of sustainable energy agreed by all  countries and the ambition of the Paris climate agreement. It offers  affordable, cleaner, reliable energy as well as storage which can crowd in more  solar and wind development.

"The  challenge of securing sustainable energy for all by 2030 means we have to move  forward with speed and scale. We hope that the World Hydropower Congress will  spur rapid progress."

The congress seeks to  build on a previous meeting held in 2015 in Beijing by bringing together  leaders and experts to examine how initiatives of governments, businesses, finance,  civil society and academia can advance sustainable development.