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HYDRO 2016

HYDRO 2016

Mr Roman Mayer, Vice Director at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, who described hydropower as the mainstay of his country’s energy supply, in his opening address to HYDRO 2016. He pointed out that despite the current challenging market conditions, the Government would grant financial support for hydro plants, and he went on to outline the recently launched Swiss Energy Strategy to 2050.
Prof Anton Schleiss, President of ICOLD and Director of the Laboratory of Hydraulic Constructions at EPFL, Switzerland, in his opening address, referred to dams as “vital infrastructure on which the soundness of economies depends”. He spoke of the political will worldwide to improve water, energy and food security, based on a nexus approach. Multipurpose dams, designed by multidisciplinary teams, played an important role, he said.
Alison Bartle, Director of Aqua~Media International, welcomed the international participants to HYDRO 2016. She referred to Switzerland’s achievements in hydropower development, past and present, and commented that the future plans had been well researched and clearly outlined. She then reviewed global opportunities, achievements and challenges for hydropower worldwide, noting the progressive improvements which had been made in communication between stakeholders during the development of hydro and dam projects.
General view of some of the delegates during the opening plenary session on Monday 10 October. About 1400 international participants gathered in Montreux for the conference and exhibition, representing 80 countries. Together these countries represented 86 per cent of the world’s hydropower currently under construction (about 126 GW).
Luciano Canale, Senior Hydropower Specialist at the World Bank, told delegates that the Bank was advancing its sustainable hydropower agenda, through numerous lending operations and non-lending initiatives. He said that 20 new projects were in the pipeline for the next two fiscal years, corresponding to a future commitment of around US$ 2 billion. He stressed that the re-engagement of the World Bank and other multilateral banks would not be sufficient for the necessary scaling up of world hydro, and that increased private investment would be required.
Laurent Mouvet, President of the Swiss Committee on Dams, discussed the roles and benefits of Switzerland’s 227 large dams, drawing attention to some milestones in their development. He described Switzerland as a “hydropower country”, with 60 per cent of electricity being derived from hydro; about 60 per cent of the installations were storage schemes in the Alps, he added. He traced the history of dam construction in the country, pointing to the correspondence with industrial development. He drew attention to some of the country’s largest and most challenging projects, and also to the expertise of Swiss engineers in monitoring and surveillance.
Zhou Jianping, Chief Engineer at Power China, and Vice President of ICOLD, spoke of past, present and future hydropower development in China, and prospects for future international collaboration. He pointed out that his country’s installed hydro capacity currently stood at 320 GW, with 16 GW of new hydro having been commissioned in 2015. He summarized development plans to 2020, which included commissioning a further 60 GW of hydro, and he added that by 2020 a further 60 GW would be under construction, and the same amount would be approved to go ahead.
Alessandro Palmieri, former Lead Dam Specialist at the World Bank and currently Chairman of ICOLD’s Committee on Multipurpose Storage, described recently completed work by his Committee in studying emerging trends in the development of multipurpose schemes worldwide. “It is necessary to look to the future”, he said, “as economies develop, circumstances change, and societal values evolve”. The Committee had collected 30 international case studies, Palmieri said. The findings and reflections after a review of the case studies had led to a report outlining the dynamics of multipurpose water storage development, essential elements, and emerging trends.
Prof François Avellan, Director of the Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines at EPFL in Lausanne, described the European Commission-supported initiative entitled ‘HYPERBOLE’ (HYdropower plants PERformance and flexiBle Operation towards Lean integration of new renewable Energies’. The consortium of industrial companies and research institutes engaged in the research was being coordinated by EPFL. Work was focusing on a dynamic assessment of Francis turbines and pump-turbines, and the ultimate aim was to achieve enhanced hydro plant value, while also improving long-term availability,
Dr Jeff Opperman, Lead Scientist on the Great Rivers Programme of The Nature Conservancy, spoke of the multiple benefits which could be achieved through system-scale planning for hydropower. He explained that this approach could reduce impacts associated with the fragmentation of river systems, and changes in flow patterns. He took as a case study the Myitnge river basin in Myanmar, where a study had been done on a possible five-dam cascade, based on several design options and many operational alternatives, with the aim of identifying multiple benefits.
A quartet of trumpeters ‘2for2Brass’ from the Conservatoire de Lausanne, played three pieces for delegates during the Opening Ceremony. The first was ‘Entrée’ by the Swiss composer Jean-François Michel. This was followed later by the Triumphal March from Verdi’s Aïda, and an extract from Handel’s Water Music.
The Bhutanese and other delegates during the opening ceremony of HYDRO 2016. The Bhutanese delegation was headed by Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, shown left.
Speakers in the session on Global development opportunities, chaired by Laurent Mouvet, President of SWISSCOD and Director of Hydro Operation International, Switzerland. The session included discussions on potential and planned projects in Uganda, Kenya, Venezuela, Bolivia, Pakistan and Georgia, as well as a talk from Compagnie Nationale du Rhône on the ‘Initiatives for the Future of Large Rivers’, which explores the role of large river systems in the context of energy transition and climate change.


Luciano Canale of the World Bank giving a talk on managing financial risks for hydrology-dominated energy systems, taking as an example the case of Uruguay (where in 2012 as a result of a severe drought, hydro plants had only been able to meet 50 per cent of demand). The session on ‘Risk management and insurance’, was chaired by Dr Judith Plummer-Braeckman, of the University of Cambridge, UK, shown left. Speakers on insurance covered a range of aspects, from construction and loss of earnings to weather-related events.
Dr Peter Mason, of MWH, UK, who chaired a session on climate issues. Speakers in his session addressed the outcomes of COP21 in Paris (2015) and implications for hydro, as well as practical climate adaptation measures, and hydrological studies in various parts of the world.
Dr George Annandale, Consultant, USA, who gave a talk on the challenges of balancing efficiency and reliability of power supply in the context of climate change. He warned of the decrease in reliability of run-of-river hydro schemes which could result from climate change, and stressed the need for carry-over storage to mitigate this effect, and to safeguard supplies of water for power production.
Prof John Reynolds, Consultant, UK, spoke of climate change resilience and disaster risk management in the hydropower sector in high mountain environments. He highlighted in his talk that temperatures appeared to be rising faster at high altitudes than at lower elevations, affecting glaciers, and runoff from melting slow. He felt the hydro industry was not sufficiently prepared for the potential resulting impacts on high elevation hydro plants.
Bernard Tardieu, Consultant, France, puts a question to the panel of speakers during the session on ‘Climate issues’.
Peter J. Rae, Consultant, Canada, (shown right) chaired a session on ‘Finance and investment’. He felt the session underlined the need for policy in the hydropower sector, and he noted in his conclusion that speakers had shown how strategic changes in the approaches of donors to developing countries could be a catalyst for large-scale involvement by private sector investors. The first speaker in the session, Jean-Michel Devernay of France (shown left), spoke of the opportunities and challenges of developing hydro at the regional scale. He pointed out that many future hydro schemes would be built on transboundary rivers.

A session focusing on contractual aspects was chaired by H. Irfan Aker of Turkey (shown right). He said the session had underlined the need for careful allocation of risks between the contractor and owner/operator, to avoid cost overruns and time delays. Peter Rae of Canada (centre) gave a talk in which he reviewed the various forms of contract arrangements for hydro schemes, and countered some of the criticisms often made about EPC contracts. He also spoke of various risk characteristics which could affect contract strategy. Bettina Geisseler, a lawyer from Germany (shown left), spoke of balancing risks between the various stakeholders involved in a hydropower development.


ICOLD Secretary-General Michel de Vivo (right) with ICOLD’s Hon President Adama Nombre of Burkina Faso, co-chairing the session on Africa. The session included talks on projects in Nigeria, Uganda, Algeria, Benin, Malawi, Liberia, Mozambique, Angola and Zambia.
Nicolas Sans (shown right), Hydropower Specialist, the World Bank, presented an update on the Bank’s Review of Hydropower in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study, he explained, had reviewed and analysed data for 65 hydro projects larger than 50 MW with significant storage, which were either completed, under construction or had had funding approved between 2004 and 2014. The study looked at the typology of investments from the various funding sources for the schemes. Beside him is O. Voborny of AF Consult, Switzerland, who discussed the challenges and solutions associated with construction of the Karuma scheme in Uganda.
Claude Kayitenkore, Energy Director of Energie Great Lakes, discussing the rehabilitation of the Ruzizi I and II plants, on the Ruzizi river which forms the border of DRC, Rwanda and Burundi.
Prof Luis Berga, Hon. President of ICOLD, from Spain, who chaired a session on ‘Flood protection and hydrology’. He observed that floods represented the most serious category of natural disasters in Europe; between 1980 and 2013, floods had caused almost 5000 fatalities, and around US$ 150 billion worth of economic losses in Europe, he said. Various methods of flood mitigation were described in the session, and the importance of hydrological forecasting was stressed.
The panel of speakers for the session dealing with ‘Flood protection and hydrology’. Topics included a smart flood management system, a hydrological forecasting system for glacial areas, a weir control system for the optimal peak discharge capping of floods, and the flood mitigation roles of various dams.
Roman Derungs of the Schweizerische Wasserwirtschaftsverband, Switzerland (shown left) with Prof Anton Schleiss, EPFL-LCH, Switzerland. They co-chaired a special session on ‘Swiss hydropower expertise’. This covered research and development relating to energy strategy and hydropower, and included case studies outlining the design, implementation and challenging features of some of the major hydro and pumped-storage schemes currently under way in Switzerland.
Pedro Manso of EPFL-LCH, who gave the first talk in the special session on Switzerland. He summarized activities in the field of hydropower infrastructure research over the past three years; the work he described focused particularly on increasing operational flexibility and winter production.
Elmar Kaempfen, of Hydro Exploitation SA, Switzerland, who discussed trends in the operation and maintenance of hydropower stations, in the special session on Switzerland.
Prof François Avellan, Director of the Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines at EPFL, chairing the first of two sessions on ‘Hydraulic machinery’, which focused on research and modelling.
The panel of speakers for the session on research and modelling; Erwin Oberbichler of Andritz Hydro, Austria (second from right), responds to a question on his paper about the high-head Francis units for the Lysebotn II scheme in Norway.
John Gummer of Hydro-Consult, Australia, who chaired the second session on ‘Hydraulic machinery’. He felt the session had demonstrated the myriad of problems facing the designers of today’s hydraulic machines in ever-changing electrical distribution systems.
Five of the total of 12 speakers during the session on ‘Hydraulic machinery’, with chairman John Gummer shown right. There was input to the session from some of the major manufacturing companies such as Voith of Germany, Power Machines of Russia, and Litostroj of Slovenia, as well as the utility Iberdrola of Spain.
Michael Rogers of MWH, USA, also Vice-President of ICOLD, who chaired one of the civil engineering sessions, on ‘Design and construction’. The session included case studies from Nepal, Norway, France, Ethiopia, South Africa, Egypt, Canada and Guatemala. In summing up the session, Rogers drew attention to two papers dealing with emerging trends in the application of BIM modelling, and also a talk on how the effects of last year’s earthquakes in Nepal had influenced the planning and design of the 260 m-high Budhi Gandaki dam.
Dr Malcolm Dunstan, UK (left) and Dr Robin Charlwood, USA, who co-chaired the civil engineering session focusing on ‘Materials for dams’. Dr Dunstan also presented a paper on global developments in RCC dams, and Dr Charlwood had co-authored a paper, presented by Ian Sims, on reducing the risk of alkali aggregate reaction in new dams and hydro plants.
Dr Martin Wieland of Switzerland (shown left) and Prof John Reynolds of the UK, co-chairing a session on ‘Hazard and risk’. The first part of the session covered seismic risks to dams, and included a talk by Dr Wieland on the risk of earthquakes to large storage dams; other topics covered later included threats posed by challenging site conditions, and by civil unrest and terrorism.

A. Sichaib (shown left) and B. Tardieu, both of France, who gave a two-part talk in the session on ‘Hazard and risk’. The first proposed a simplified method to evaluate gravity dam safety under seismic conditions, and the second discussed a safety assessment of the Beni Haroun dam, Algeria, in the context of complex site conditions.
Dr Yannis Thanopoulos of Greece (shown on the right) who chaired a session on ‘Tunnels and underground works’, which featured case studies from Asia, Africa and Europe. Beside him is N. Nilipour of BG Consulting Engineers, Switzerland, who described a new gallery constructed to improve operating conditions at Emosson dam; on the left is Prof Leif Lia of Norway, who discussed the challenge of air accumulation in hydropower tunnels.
Dr Harald Kreuzer of Switzerland (shown right), who chaired a session on ‘Dam safety and monitoring’. Topics included rehabilitation to enhance safety, and evaluating safety including uncertainties of input parameters. The general orientation was towards innovative, technically refined approaches to find symptoms of critical dam behaviour.Beside him is E. Robbe of EDF, France, who presented the case of the Laouzas thin arch dam, constructed in a wide valley, where cracking had occurred at the rock/dam interface after first impounding.
Prof Markus Aufleger, of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, who chaired a session on ‘Environment’. He had also co-authored a paper in the session, on an innovative and ecological approach to dam restoration, which was presented by co-author B. Brinkmeyer.
Øivind Johansen of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Norway, who chaired the session on ‘Grid issues’. He also gave the opening talk in the session, entitled ‘Interconnecting hydropower: opportunities and progress in Europe’.
F. Lempérière, of Hydro Coop, France, who chaired a session on ‘Marine energy potential and development’. He stressed that tidal power was the most promising form of marine energy, and that there was considerable potential for combining this with offshore wind farms. He drew attention to a number of innovations in the field of tidal power development.
The chairman and speakers in the session on ‘Marine energy potential and development’. There were presentations giving updates on marine energy activities in France, Russia, the UK, and China.
A session on ‘Gates and spillways’ was chaired by Paulo Erbisti, Consultant, Brazil (shown on the far left). He also presented a paper on the design and operation of lifting beams and grabbing devices, in which he recommended measures to prevent accidents which could lead to gates being damaged. There was also a talk on 3D modelling for hydraulic gates, and two papers focusing on spillway safety.
Vincent Denis, Managing Director of Myhlab, Switzerland (shown right), chaired a session on ‘Small and low head hydro’, which focused on innovative design and development. He had also co-authored a paper on developments in diagonal turbines for flexible medium head small hydro plants. Beside him is Davide Cazzago of Studio Frosio, Italy, who discussed the optimized design of very low-head plants, taking as a case study a plant in Valle d’Aosta, Italy.
Clement Maiko of the Kenya Electricity Generating Company Ltd, who gave a talk on the design of a low-head plug-flow helical hydro-kinetic turbine. The machine had been designed and manufactured in his country using second hand raw materials, and had a theoretical output of 50 W from a flow of 1.2 m/s.
A second session on small and low head hydro was chaired by Prof Bernhard Pelikan of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Austria. Discussions ranged from developments in Africa (Cameroon and Tanzania), to some case studies focusing on challenging sites and environmental issues.
Two of the speakers in the small hydro session. Shown on the right is Pierre Duflon of Andritz Hydro, Canada, who gave a presentation about the advantages of a large number of compact small units as a possible alternative to large hydro. Beside him is Gian-Andri Tannò of AF-Iteco, Switzerland, who described the 5MW Tulila small hydro scheme in Tanzania.
A small hydro training workshop took place before the conference, organized by David Williams and Gordon Black. All aspects involved in the design of a small plant were covered, and after some introductory talks, participants worked in groups to develop an actual small hydro scheme during the day.
Bruno Trouille, of Mott MacDonald, USA (right), and David Surla of EDF, France, co-chairing the first of four sessions on pumped storage. This focused on schemes in Europe, and there was input from Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

The second session on pumped storage focused on current schemes under way worldwide, and case studies were discussed from South Africa, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Indonesia, as well as plans for a potential development in Greece.
Javier Baztan of Gas Natural Fenosa, Spain, who co-chaired the third session on pumped storage, with Bruno Trouille. This session featured talks on new ideas for pumped-storage development, including innovative schemes in Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland.
ICOLD Vice President, Prof Leif Lia of Norway discusses a new strategy for pumped storage in Norway, involving the installation of medium-sized projects at existing power schemes. He pointed out that prospects for such schemes had been improved as a result of the HVDC link crossing the Skagerrak ocean to Central Europe, and the cables under construction from Norway to the UK and Germany.
P. Magauer of Andritz Hydro, Germany, who co-chaired, with Bruno Trouille, the final session on pumped storage; this focused on improvements in technology. There were presentations from Andritz (on simulating and measuring unstable pump characteristics), from Meggitt Sensing Systems (on vibration protection for reversible pump-turbines) and from Toshiba Corporation (on the development of high-head reversible units with a splitter blade runner).
Four speakers in the session on social aspects. From left: Dr Stephen Sparkes of Statkraft, Norway, who chaired the session; Alessandro Palmieri, Consultant, Italy, who spoke of the concept of “rights, risks and responsibilities” in the context of stakeholder involvement in hydro plant and dam development; Alexandra Niesslein of Mott MacDonald, UK, who spoke of improving community relations through stakeholder engagement; and, R.S.W. Wagarachchi of CEB, Sri Lanka, who outlined experience of resettlement at the Upper Kotmale scheme.
Steven Usher of Aqua-Media International, introduces chairman Niels Nielsen (shown left) in the session on ‘Hydropower and fish’ organized by the International Energy Agency. IEA’s Roadmap on this subject was presented during the session, by H-P. Fleldstad of Norway.
A second session on fish protection was chaired by Dr Michael Raeder, Deputy Director of the Xayaburi Power Company in Lao PDR (shown left). Dr Raeder also gave a paper on the fish protection facilities at Xayaburi. Other speakers shown, from left, are: G. Morier-Genoud of Pöyry, Switzerland; C.R. Kiewitz of BKW, Switzerland; J-C. Guay of Hydro-Québec, Switzerland; and, Mi Chuang of China Three Gorges Corporation.
Co-chairs of the session on ‘Sedimentation management’, Dr G. Annandale, Consultant, USA, and Sultan Alam, Consultant, France (shown in the foreground, left), together with some of the session speakers. Papers discussed techniques for removing sediment from conventional settling basins, and presented an alternative approach to removing sediment without the use of conventional settling basins. The alternative approach offered significant cost and time savings, also demonstrating the need to optimize design through the use of physical model studies.


Tom Jacobsen of Sedicon, Norway, described applications of the Sedicon system for sediment removal at the Coca Codo Sinclair scheme in Ecuador, and at Banja dam in Albania.
The panel of speakers for the session on ‘Refurbishment and upgrading’, showing, from left: M. Soklova of Power Machines, Russia; session co-chairs H. Obermoser, AF Consult, Switzerland and F. Coelho da Rocha e Silva, Consultant, Portugal; Y. Ishiguro of J-Power, Japan; and, J.O. Haugen of Rainpower, Norway.
General view of the IEA session on ‘Decision making for hydro plant renewals’, during the introductory remarks by Joint Secretary Niels Nielsen. Discussions were based on IEA’s Annex XV, ‘Maintenance works and decision-making for hydro facilities’. An overview of the work of this Annex was presented by Y. Mizuhashi of the Electric Power Development Co of Japan.
Panel of speakers for the session on ‘Operation and maintenance’, which was chaired by José Freitas of EDP, Portugal (shown right). Summing up the session, he reflected that speakers had focused on the transition from traditional maintenance methods, done locally without an integrated system, to e-maintenance systems. Various software tools had been presented.
O.A. Westberg, Consultant, Norway, chairing a session on ‘Powerplant safety’. He said that although the occurrence of severe accidents at hydro plants was extremely low, the consequences of the worst cases, such as oil mist secondary explosions could be tremendous. In the presentations during the session, he said, there had been a strong focus on the safety of personnel and avoiding damage. Cyber security was another important topic addressed.
Prof David Williams (at the podium) and Dr Andy Hughes, both of the UK, co-chairing a session on ‘Capacity building and training’. The session covered a wide range of topics, from courses offered by universities through to the sharing of expertise around the world, and then on to the experience of three interns (taking part in unpaid training). It seemed clear that the profession had identified that there was a problem with training, succession planning and knowledge transfer, but it was also obvious that some were trying to deal with it while others were apparently ignoring it or believe the problem to be too difficult to solve.


A session on ‘Electrical engineering’ was chaired by Prof Jean-Jacques Simond, shown right. Beside him is N. Dabagh of GE Renewable Energy, Switzerland, who discussed high cycle fatigue on generators, which she described as an emerging concern.
The first of the HYDRO 2016 social events was a reception and supper for chairmen and speakers, which took place at the Fairmont Montreux Palace hotel; this provided an opportunity for session participants to make contact with each other and to prepare for the working days ahead.
Delegates arriving at the HYDRO 2016 Welcome Reception at the Petit Palais in the Fairmont Montreux Palace hotel, were greeted by a traditional display of Swiss flag throwing, accompanied by Alpine horns.
General view of around 1000 participants who attended the Welcome Reception.
Aqua-Media Director Alison Bartle welcomes HYDRO 2016 delegates and accompanying persons to the reception, and expresses her appreciation to the co-sponsor for the evening, GE Renewable Energy.
Yves Rannou, Hydro CEO at GE Renewable energy, greets participants at the reception, and gave a talk in which he stressed the need for environmental protection through maximizing the use of renewable energy. He pointed out that there was no “plan B, or planet B”.
In accordance with usual tradition, a social event was arranged one evening for young engineers and students. H&D Deputy Editor, Steven Usher (centre, in the foreground), had organized an evening of bowling in a village close to Montreux.
Prof Schleiss shows a group of participants around the Laboratory of Hydraulic Constructions at EPFL, on the evening of 11 October. During the tour, they had a chance to see a 1:65 scale model of Kariba dam, a 1:12 scale model of the Gondo hydro plant, and a 1:35 scale model of EDF’s Rhinau run-of-river scheme, used to study fish migration.
Following a welcome and briefing from Prof François Avellan, Henri-Pascal Mombelli begins showing participants around the Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines at EPFL. Laboratory assistants and students were available at each installation in the laboratory to give a briefing and demonstration to participants. Test rigs and associated equipment used to research cavitation, rotor-stator interaction, flow in turbines and pumps and the stability of Francis units were examples of what could be seen.
On the final day of HYDRO 2016, a working lunch was held to give an opportunity for trustees of the AMI Hydropower Foundation to meet those who had been granted financial assistance to attend the conference. The Foundation had co-sponsored 15 delegates this year, from 11 countries of Africa, Asia and eastern Europe.
General view of the HYDRO 2016 Technical Exhibition, which ran concurrently with the conference in two halls at the 2m2c Convention Centre. There were 250 stands.
One of the Kenyan delegation in discussion at the stand of Rittmeyer, Switzerland.
The exhibition stands of GE Renewable Energy, Koncar and Voith.
Exhibitors and delegates during the networking party, which took place in the exhibition halls after the sessions on Tuesday 11 October.
Delegates visit the stand of Fishtek Consulting, to learn about the company’s fish protection systems; examples of projects exhibited were on the Mekong river in Southeast Asia.
The Farewell Gala Dinner for HYDRO 2016 participants, which took place in the Stravinsky Hall, at the 2m2c (the Montreux Music and Convention Centre) . As well as musical entertainment, some films of Charlie Chaplin were projected during the dinner, by courtesy of the Chaplain’s World museum, nearby in Vevey. Chaplain’s home for some 25 years was at Corsier sur Vevey, overlooking Lake Geneva.
Prof Anton Schleiss, ICOLD President, gave a lively and interactive farewell speech during the dinner.
Part of the entertainment programme during the Farewell Dinner was a performance by the ‘Ministrings du Conservatoire de Lausanne’, an ensemble of young musicians who have learned to play their string instruments with a very original approach, and covering a broad range of styles, since the age of 7. They have played in many parts of the world, and have won a number of prestigious awards.
And naturally, as delegates enjoyed dinner in the Stravinsky Hall, home to the annual world famous Montreux Jazz Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the evening of the Farewell Dinner ended with jazz.
Some of the HYDRO 2016 accompanying persons, taking part in a chocolate-making workshop at the Läderach Chocolatier in Vevey. (Photo: Alberta Gummer.)
The accompanying persons enjoy lunch in the village of Veysin, where they had taken part in a demonstration of cheese making. (Photo: Alberta Gummer.)
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