Keynote Speeches



Hydropower's Role in Sustainable Water and Energy Systems

Richard M. Taylor


      Richard M. Taylor                 

      Chief Executive

           International Hydropower Association    


Richard M.Taylor has been involved in the water and energy sectors since 1985. He became a founding Board member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) in 1995, and has served as its executive director since 2001 (CEO of IHA Ltd and IHA Sustainability Ltd, since 2015). Along with water and energy, his interests include climate and sustainability.

A graduate in Earth Science/Water Resources, with postgraduate studies in hydropower engineering, environmental assessment and renewable energy systems, he has written and edited numerous technical papers and periodicals on hydropower and dams, and has been engaged in United Nations initiatives on water (WWDR and UNEP), energy (UNIDO and UNDESA) and climate change (UNESCO and IPCC).

He has also participated in the work of the World Bank Group, REN21, International Renewable Energy Alliance, International Energy Agency, World Energy Council and World Water Council, and is a Fellow of the Energy Institute (UK).


Hydroelectricity currently supplies more than 1 billion people with renewable energy - the equivalent of 6 billion barrels of oil per year (around 20% of global oil production). The operational flexibility and energy storage characteristics of hydropower enable it to support the greater use of other renewable energies, which otherwise deliver variable input to electricity systems. At the same time, hydropower assets often form part of multipurpose water storage projects, which require complex operating rules to optimise the various water uses. Hydropower, therefore, is unique in its place within the water-energy nexus, with many environmental and socio-economic dimensions. The future role of hydropower is likely to be different to that of the past, especially as the energy mix diversifies, water stress increases and climate-change aspects have greater influence. 


The presentation will comprise three parts: 

  • Review of the current contribution of hydropower worldwide;
  • Discussion on the role of hydropower in clean energy and freshwater systems; and
  • Presentation of a methodology to assess the sustainability of a hydropower project.

Kaveh Madani       System of Systems Approach to Energy Sustainability

       Kaveh Madani

             Associate Professor

             Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London


Dr. Kaveh Madani is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Environmental Management at the Centre for Environmental Policy of Imperial College London. Prior to this he was an assistant professor of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering and an Alex Alexander Fellow at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he founded and directed the Hydro-Environmental & Energy Systems Analysis (HEESA) Research Group and served as the faculty advisor of the Engineers without Borders (EWB) and American Water Resources Association (ARWA) student chapters. His core research interests and experiences include integrated water, environmental, and energy resources engineering and management. Dr. Madani’s work includes application of systems engineering, conflict resolution, system dynamics, economics, optimization as well as simulation and modeling methods to water, environmental, and energy resource problems at different scales to derive policy and management insights.

Dr. Madani has a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis, Master of Water Resources from the Lund University, and B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tabriz; and has done his post-doctoral studies in Environmental Economics and Policy at the Water Science and Policy Center at the University of California, Riverside. He is an Associate Editor of the ASCE’s Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management and Elsevier’s Sustainable Cities and Society journal. Dr. Madani was selected as one of the ten “New Faces of Civil Engineering in 2012” by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has been recently selected by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) as one of the four recipients of the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists in 2016 for his “fundamental contributions to integrating game theory and decision analysis into conventional water resources management”, making him the first Iranian receiving a major award from EGU.


Renewable energies are emerging across the globe in an attempt to combat global warming and to improve national energy security in face of the depleting fossil fuel reserves. However, the general policy of mandating the replacement of fossil fuels with the so-called "green" energies may not be as effective and environmental-friendly as previously thought, due to the secondary impacts of renewable energies on different natural resources. Thus, an integrated systems analysis framework is essential to selecting optimal energy sources that address global warming and energy security concerns with minimal unintended consequences and undesired secondary impacts on valuable natural resources. This presentation discusses how a system of systems (SoS) framework can be developed to determine the desirability of different energy supply alternatives with respect to different sustainability criteria such as carbon footprint, water footprint, land footprint, and cost of energy production under uncertainty. It is shown that despite their lower carbon footprints, some renewable energy sources are less promising than non-renewable energy sources from a SoS perspective that considers the trade-offs between greenhouse gas emissions and the effects on water, ecosystem, and economic resources. A new framework based on the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) is also proposed for analyzing the overall sustainability of different energy mixes for different risk of return levels with respect to the trade-offs involved. It is discussed how the proposed finance-based sustainability evaluation method can help policy makers maximize the energy portfolio’s expected sustainability for a given amount of portfolio risk, or equivalently minimize risk for a given level of expected sustainability level, by revising the energy mix.