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IHA Blue Planet Prize

The IHA Blue Planet Prize is awarded to hydropower projects that demonstrate excellence in sustainable development.

What is the prize for?

The award is given to either:

  • A project, or element of a project, that most clearly demonstrates excellence in sustainability in hydropower; or
  • A project, or element of a project, that most clearly represents a significant improvement in sustainability practices in a developing country or region

How wis it judged?

The prize will be awarded on the basis of an assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a tool that measures the sustainability of a hydropower project across a range of social, environmental, technical and economic aspects.

The protocol was developed through cross-sector consensus and is governed by a forum that includes governments, environmental and social NGOs, commercial and development banks, and industry. You can find out more at

The assessment must be an official assessment, it must be published before January 2017, and can be of any of the four stages of early stage, preperation, implementation and operation.

The winner will be judged by a panel of four experts selected by the IHA Board. Shortlisted projects not selected for the prize will be recognised as ‘highly commended’.

How can I get involved?

For your project to be considered for the IHA Blue Planet Prize, it needs to undertake an official protocol assessment. To apply, please complete the following steps:

  1. Complete and return an application form (available here) by 30 December 2016, indicating your intention to enter for the prize;
  2. Complete and return the ‘written motivation’ (see last two pages of the application form) with full assessment report in early 2017.

Information about the full eligibility and application process is available for download here.

If you would like ay further information, please get in touch with our sustainability team.

When will I find out the winner?

The announcement of the winning project will be made at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress.


The prize was awarded to six projects between 2001 and 2005 in recognition of good sustainability practice. These were:

  • Andhikhola hydel and rural electrification scheme, Nepal (2005)
  • Arrow Lakes power plant, Canada (2005)
  • Sechelt Creek power plant, Canada (2005)
  • Salto Caxias project, Brazil (2003)
  • Palmiet pumped storage scheme, South Africa (2003)
  • King River hydropower development, Tasmania, Australia (2001)

After a hiatus during the development of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, IHA plans to award the prize at the World Hydropower Congress in 2017.