An assessment was recently carried out at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station using the globally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP). The results showed that operations at the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station are largely considered to be of highest standard with regard to the sustainable utilisation of hydroelectric power. Many of the other working practices at the station were considered to be of the highest possible quality.
The results of the assessment showed that the station fulfilled the requirements set out for ‘proven best practice’ (grade 5 out of 5 possible grades) in 11 categories of the 17 categories assessed. The station fulfilled the requirements set out for ‘basic good practice’ in 4 categories (grade 4 out of 5 possible grades) with only one gap preventing these four categories from being graded ‘proven best practice’. Two categories were considered to be non-applicable.
Seventeen categories were extensively analysed during the detailed assessment of the operational stage of the Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station and should give an accurate picture of how successfully operations comply with international standards on sustainable utilisation. The categories included communications and consultation, environmental and social issues management, the hydrological resource, labour and working conditions, biodiversity and invasive species as well as erosion and sedimentation.
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol was formally introduced in 2011 and offers a way to assess “the performance of a hydropower project across more than 20 sustainability topics”. The Protocol can be utilised during the various stages of a project including early stage, preparation, implementation and operation.
The Protocol was developed between 2008 and 2010 by a multi-stakeholder forum including representatives of environmental and social NGOs (Oxfam, the Nature Conservancy, Transparency International and the WWF), governments (China, Zambia, Iceland, and Norway), development banks (Equator Principle Financial Institutions, the World Bank) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA). The Icelandic government was represented by Guðni Jóhannesson, Director General at the National Energy Authority. Landsvirkjun has supported the development of the Protocol from the beginning, via its membership with the IHA.
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council is responsible for the supervision and monitoring of the Protocol. This council includes representatives of social and community organisations, environmental organisations, governments, commercial and development banks, and the hydropower sector. The IHA is responsible for the Protocol’s day-to-day operations.
The results of the assessment have been released and a review period is currently active. Comments can be made regarding the results of the assessment until the 8th of March. Landsvirkjun would like to encourage public and private parties to study the report, which can be accessed here: