International report backs hydropower’s role in a clean energy future

1 July 2021

Hydro Tasmania has welcomed international findings of the role hydropower can – and must – play in the global transition to renewable energy and net zero emissions.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its special market report, highlighting seven priority areas for governments and reinforcing the urgent need for a global expansion and acceleration of hydropower and pumped hydro projects world-wide.

Chief Executive Officer Evangelista Albertini said the report release underscored the critical role for the flexible, dispatchable capacity that can be delivered through Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation hydropower projects.

“I am very pleased to see international recognition of hydropower as the ‘workhorse’ of the future in providing the capacity and storage needed to ensure stable and reliable global energy systems,” he said.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said hydropower was “the forgotten giant of clean electricity” and called for it to be put squarely back on the energy and climate agenda.

“It brings valuable scale and flexibility to help electricity systems adjust quickly to shifts in demand and to compensate for fluctuations in supply from other sources. Hydropower’s advantages can make it a natural enabler of secure transitions in many countries as they shift to higher and higher shares of solar and wind – provided that hydropower projects are developed in a sustainable and climate-resilient way,” Dr Birol said.

Mr Albertini echoed this, highlighting the need to move away from coal fired generation to new variable sources of energy and the massive need for the clean, reliable and flexible storage hydropower can provide.

“It is pleasing that the IEA has reinforced the reform needed to ensure the growth of hydropower projects can be accelerated. Better valuing the system services hydropower and pumped hydro can provide, more certainty on future revenues and incentivising investment – both in new projects and asset modernisation - are key to this and recognised in the IEA’s seven priority areas.”

Mr Albertini said that the Tasmanian and Australian Governments continued to show strong support for Tasmania’s opportunity and progress negotiations on the mechanisms to support the Cethana pumped hydro project and hydropower upgrade opportunities that form the Battery of the Nation.

Battery of the Nation and the new 1500MW Marinus Link interconnector together can support the nation’s transition to a clean energy future by providing cost-effective, dispatchable, highly flexible renewable energy, backed by deep hydropower storage capacity,” Mr Albertini said.

“Hydro Tasmania is in a great place to respond to the future capacity and storage needs of the NEM, with the biggest hydropower system in the country. Combining our significant hydropower and pumped hydro capacity with low cost wind and solar gives Tasmania a strong competitive advantage to deliver what the nation needs,” Mr Albertini said.

Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative has been supported with $5M in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).


Released for Hydro Tasmania by Lyn Southon / 0409 722 359 /


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