Hydropower takes a further step towards demonstrating sustainability with the launch of Hydropower Sustainability Alliance

The hydropower sector took a crucial step forward today with the launch of the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance (HSA) at the World Hydropower Congress.

A multistakeholder non-profit organisation governed by a combination of public and private sectors, the HSA enhances transparency in the sector through its rigorous sustainability assessment and certification system and a robust capacity building programme.

Dr Ashok Khosla, president of the HSA, was at the launch to recognise this milestone in renewable energy:

“Hydropower has a major role to play in helping countries to achieve sustainable development, meet renewables targets and address climate change. I am excited to be part of taking the next step as president of the HSA. The Alliance will bring greater attention to the need for credible systems to incentivise the best projects. Providing communities, governments and investors greater confidence in their net benefits and how impacts on the local environment can be mitigated.”

Dr Khosla was joined at the event by representatives from recently certified hydropower owners: Hydro-Québec (Eastmain-1 Development), Jirau Energia (Jirau Hydropower Plant), Pamir Energy (Sebzor Hydropower Project), and Urja Developers (Mai Beni project). Each of these projects was awarded the first-ever Gold certifications in their respective regions – North America, South America, Central Asia and South Asia.

"As the primary source of electricity in Brazil, hydropower is essential to meet the country's energy demands," remarked Edson Silva, CEO of Jirau Energia. "We recognise and advocate for the importance of hydroelectricity generation that actively minimises any potential adverse social and environmental effects. We hope that Jirau can set an example for other hydropower projects across the world, encouraging them to continuously improve and demonstrate their sustainability practices."

Joao Costa, newly appointed Executive Director for the HSA commented: “The Hydropower Sustainability Alliance is committed to scaling up the adoption of sustainability principles in hydropower by embedding the HS Standard in financial and corporate mechanisms, civil society expectations, and government regulations. The first movers in the private sector have already obtained certification this year, and many more are preparing to meet our rigorous ESG criteria and publicly showcase their commitment to sustainability.”


Notes to editors: The Hydropower Sustainability (HS) Standard is the internationally-recognised and independent certification system for sustainability in the hydropower sector. Representatives from governments, civil society, financial institutions and industry have collectively designed and now govern the HS Standard to ensure positive outcomes for people, business and planet.

The HS Standard recognises hydropower projects for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance by setting minimum and advanced performance requirements for the sector and acknowledging projects for meeting these requirements. The HS Standard is aligned with the safeguards of key lenders (e.g. IFC and World Bank) and can be used to attract climate-aligned finance through green bonds certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative and support electricity sales to RE100 companies.

What is the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance? The HS Standard is managed by the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance. The HS Alliance is being launched at the World Hydropower Congress on 31 October 2023 to act as the independent and multistakeholder standard-setting body that oversees the Hydropower Sustainability Certification System Find out more. Email: Or visit:

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