Monday, March 02, 2015

Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

Greetings from the ANU Energy Change Institute in Canberra, where Dr Helen Locher from Hydro Tasmania is speaking on "Greening of the Hydropower Sector?". She is an Accredited Lead Assessor for the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. The protocol document (2010) is available in English, (as a 2.2 Mbyte PDF file od 220 pages), French Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and  Chinese.

One question is how this fits into more general envrionmental standards, such as the ISO 14000 environmental management series. The only two mentions of ISO 14001 are:
"Management: In addition, processes are in place to anticipate and respond to emerging risks and opportunities; and plans and processes are embedded within an internationally recognised environmental management system which is third party verified, such as ISO 14001." (p. 59)
"The approach of the Operations assessment tool is similar to that of ISO 14001, in that the existing condition is taken as the baseline, and risks are assessed against that condition." (p. 172)
I found there was work on a "Sustainability Assessment Protocol for Geothermal Utilization". Perhaps the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol could be generalized for any energy generating project.

Dr Locher explained that there had been limited take-up of the protocol in developing nations. But she also mentioned that the assessors had to take a week long course in London. Perhaps an on-line course would help make the process more accessible.

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