The World Hydropower Congress 2023 has officially commenced in Bali, Indonesia, heralding a significant gathering of global leaders and experts in the field of sustainable hydropower. The event received a prestigious welcome from President Joko Widodo, the 7th President of the Republic of Indonesia, who underscored the paramount importance of sustainable hydropower, not only within his nation but across the world.
In his opening address, President Widodo reaffirmed Indonesia's steadfast dedication to advancing the cause of sustainable hydropower. He expressed deep gratitude for hosting this year's World Hydropower Congress in Bali, emphasizing its crucial role as a platform for international collaboration aimed at fostering a sustainable and eco-friendly global economy. The President noted the urgency of addressing environmental challenges, stating, “Our Earth is sick, this is no longer global warming, this is global boiling, temperature rises predict 210 million people will be short of water. I hope this Congress will help with international collaboration for sustainable hydropower to help develop a sustainable green global economy.”
President Widodo's tenure has notably emphasized infrastructure development, with ‘The Energy Sector Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions' serving as a blueprint for Indonesia's transition to clean energy. A particularly ambitious endeavor on the horizon is the world's largest Green Industrial Park in North Kalimantan, set to heavily rely on hydropower for its energy requirements.
The inauguration of the World Hydropower Congress witnessed the presence of prominent figures, including Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for the Government of Indonesia, the Premier of Sarawak, and Malcolm Turnbull, President of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and former Prime Minister of Australia.
Minister Tasrif conveyed Indonesia's pride in co-hosting the event in collaboration with the IHA and PLN. He stated, “Renewable energy will power the development of Indonesia. We hope this Congress will contribute to innovations for global hydropower development and reach net zero emissions targets.”
This year's World Hydropower Congress has attracted over 1,000 decision-makers, innovators, and experts from various sectors, including industry, government, finance, civil society, and academia. The event features a lineup of 200 distinguished speakers representing more than 300 organizations spanning 43 countries. Over the course of three days, it is poised to serve as a platform for crucial policy discussions, recommendations, and commitments expected to have a substantial impact on the worldwide expansion of sustainable hydropower.
The congress is driven by several key objectives, including forging a consensus on policy and finance recommendations that will steer the transition toward cleaner energy and pave the way for COP28. It also seeks to overcome challenges in renewable energy development through policy and investment-driven solutions, underscoring the importance of renewable technologies in the global shift away from coal, and shedding light on the untapped hydropower potential in regions such as Asia and Africa.
Abang Abdul Rahman Johari Abang Openg, Premier of the Government of Sarawak, extended a warm welcome to the global hydropower community in Southeast Asia. He commended Indonesia and the IHA for their efforts in uniting stakeholders to advance sustainable hydropower development.
Malcolm Turnbull, President of IHA, expressed his enthusiasm for the Congress and the critical mission it entails. He lauded President Joko Widodo's bold ambition of achieving 95GW of hydropower by 2060 and stressed the significance of the various sessions and discussions set to unfold during the event. Turnbull emphasized, “Together, through sustainable hydropower, we are powering sustainable growth.”