A consortium of 19 hydropower corporations and organizations said it’ll receive European Union funding of 18 million euros ($20 million) to research the green energy form’s function, as the 28-member bloc seeks to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The offer shall be declared Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference in Madrid, a day prior to the new European Commission lays out its “European Green Deal” policy to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent.
The consortium consists of EDF, Voith, and General Electric Hydro, in addition to universities throughout Europe.
Hydropower can serve as a massive battery, providing a store of energy to offset intermittent renewable energy sources.
As big business struggles to reduce emissions, metal processors, including Norsk Hydro, are using hydropower to make products they can sell as green.
Several green campaigners have warned against any expansion of hydropower due to its impact on biodiversity and river systems.
However, many analysts say all solutions will be required if the EU has any hope of offsetting carbon emissions by the middle of the century with funding of trillions of euros.
Under the agreement, the “XFLEX HYDRO project” will receive grants to explore how hydropower can support variable renewables such as wind and photovoltaic, the European Commission mentioned in a statement.
Some of the technologies the consortium will test have a battery-turbine hybrid to improve the integration of renewables in Europe’s electric network.