A study conducted by International Hydropower Association for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has found that 66 hydropower stations across 19 countries are due for modernisation the estimated investment value of which is $13.7 bn.
The study was done to assess the scale of modernisation needs across the region. IHA has estimated that more than a third of Asia's capacity will require or would have undergone modernisation by 2030.
The research, conducted over eight months by IHA and AIIB, found countries with most hydropower capacity in need of modernisation and investigation include India and Turkey.
The modernization options include retrofitting ageing turbines with the state of art technology, digitalizing operation with installing new smart controls, intelligent condition monitoring and remote operated systems.
“Over the coming decade, the region's need for reliable and sustainable energy will grow immensely. If properly managed and invested in strategically, hydropower’s existing capacity will form the backbone of this energy transition and be essential in meeting the objectives set out in both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Nicholas Troja, IHA Senior Analyst.
The research explains that the decision to upgrade a plant will often be influenced by a range of factors, including electricity prices and market design. It further noted the governments need to develop policies to encourage investment to avoid having decommissioned ageing power stations and losing reliable, renewable power generation capacity.
The study was completed in March 2020 and also involved a high-level cost benchmarking exercise to help inform understanding of investment cost ranges for modernisation. The working paper was authored by David Morgado from AIIB and Nicholas Troja, Amina Kadyrzhanova and David Samuel from IHA.