Producing more energy, even if “fossil-free”, will affect the achievement of water quality, biodiversity and climate goals. Leaders need to rethink the “optimal” equation to account not only for energy security but also climate, ecosystem and social benefits and trade-offs. These considerations should focus on hydropower and how it fits into other renewable energy sources, as well as how water use will shape these decisions.

This brief presents key considerations for bringing fossil-fuel free planning into water planning, with a suggested holistic view to actions for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Solar, wind and batteries at Harlingviet, The Netherlands. Courtesy of Vattenfall.