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Sustainable Development of Hydropower

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Fact sheet






Hydropower accounts for the large majority of existing renewable power generation, and there is significant future potential to increase hydroelectricity supply, particularly in Africa, Asia, South America, and Central America. In many countries (e.g., Norway, parts of Canada, and Brazil), hydropower has long been the dominant source of electricity production. This technology will continue to play an important role in the transition toward a low-carbon economy.

The Sustainable Development of Hydropower Initiative sought to share expertise, best practices, and methodologies related to the sustainability and financing of hydropower, as well as to motivate multilateral developing and financing agencies to consider sustainable hydropower in their portfolios of possible energy solutions for developing countries.


  • An important first goal was to inventory a river basin in a developing country for potential hydropower resources. This inventory study was based on a new methodology, developed with funds from the Brazilian government and the World Bank, that sought to find a balance between energy production and social-environmental considerations while accounting for multiple uses of water.

For more information, view the Sustainable Development of Hydropower activities page or fact sheet.