Work on the Xflex Hydro project commenced early last December. The initiative was launched by leading energy providers, hydro-plant builders, universities, research centres and advisory businesses,
and is scheduled to run for four years. The declared aim is to showcase innovations and technologies from hydroelectric plants all over Europe; and ultimately show how intelligent hydropower technologies contribute to reliable, sustainable, low-emission energy systems. The project consortium is made up of 19 members and the €18 million of project funding came from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. By 2030, the EU is targeting at least 32 percent energy from renewables and longer term scenarios suggest an even more drastic decarbonisation of electricity by 2050. This will place increasing demands on the hydropower sector to provide flexible, reliable power services that can adapt to changing supply and demand. New and innovative technologies will help hydropower adjust to its critical role integrating variable renewables into the system. This will also ensure hydropower operators can maximise their performance and access future energy markets.