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Europe

Europe is steadily moving towards a cleaner energy mix with renewable hydropower making an essential contribution to climate reduction targets
Generation by hydropower (2023)
637 TWh
Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
259 GW
Capacity added (2023)
596 MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
54 GW
Pumped storage capacity added (2023)
121 MW

Regional overview and outlook

Europe saw very little movement in the commissioning of new greenfield hydropower projects in 2023. The need for system flexibility across the region is paving the way for PSH, and the modernisation of Europe’s existing hydropower fleet presents a significant opportunity to increase capacity and enhance performance. In 2022, Europe suffered from droughts that lasted for the first three quarters of the year, causing a decline in hydropower energy production. The situation improved in 2023 when hydropower generation bounced back, reaching 637.23TWh. This is almost level with the 2020 and 2021 average of 666.5TWh. The revised European Union (EU) Renewable Energy Directive in late 2023 marked a significant milestone in Europe's efforts to decarbonise its power systems. It established ambitious targets for renewable energy within the EU, aiming for a minimum contribution of 42.5% to total energy consumption by 2030.

This was a notable increase from the previous target set 28 months earlier, highlighting the EU's accelerating commitment to the clean energy transition. In January 2024, the European Commission and European Council reached a provisional agreement to reform the electricity market design. This initiative aims to create a buffer between short-term markets and consumers' electricity bills by incentivising longer-term energy contracts. It encourages the use of long term instruments like power purchase agreements and capacity remuneration mechanisms, although two-way contracts for difference will not be available for reservoir hydropower and PSH. Under this regulation, EU member states are required to review their needs for grid flexibility and establish objectives to decrease their dependence on fossil fuels. To manage potential gaps, they will also have the opportunity to introduce new support schemes, especially for demand response and storage.

Positive signals hint at a resurgence of political and commercial interest in PSH. In January 2024 the UK Government launched a consultation on long-duration electricity storage, setting out its intention to implement a cap and floor scheme to support the development of storage facilities with a duration of at least 6 hours. This followed widespread calls for new policy, including a letter set in August 2023 by IHA President Malcom Turnbull to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, advocating for PSH. The Spanish Government updated its National Energy and Climate Plan in October 2023. It set a target of 22GW of energy storage by 2030. Of this, 15GW must be long duration storage. This is to prevent variable renewable energy (VRE) curtailment, according to a recent study by Aurora Consulting. In July 2023, the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition announced €280 million in grants to support energy storage projects, with €100 million allocated to PSH. In September 2023, the Swiss Government approved a new decree which aims to tackle possible energy shortages in the winter. The new policy included a simpler approval process for 16 PSH projects planned for 2040 with a total energy storage capacity of over 2 TWh. Several PSH projects were either announced or achieved noticeable progress in Europe during 2023. Whilst encouraging, this technology still has remarkable untapped potential in this continent.

Lower Kalekoy, Türkiye, GE Vernova

Policy and market overview

As Europe phases out dispatchable gas and coal plants, the challenge lies in replacing this capacity with 'clean, firm' technologies. Complex regulatory frameworks and a lack of long-term incentives have steered development towards solar PV, wind, and short-duration storage options rather than the dispatchable resources that will be increasingly necessary. Conventional and PSH development are crucial for grid control. They secure power supply and avoid VRE curtailment, but this requires robust regulatory support. The flexibility offered by the entire hydropower fleet is vital to secure sectoral progress.

To unleash its full potential, stabilising and simplifying the legislative framework and expediting permitting processes are needed now. While current electricity markets maximise competition to provide services at the lowest cost, they fall short in providing long-term pricing essential for financing large infrastructure projects. This limitation hampers the adoption of the most cost-effective energy solutions for society in the long run. Europe's existing hydropower fleet is ageing rapidly, with over 70% of plants at least 30 years old. Exploitation licenses nearing expiration introduce uncertainty regarding license renewal and asset control, hindering investments in modernisation projects. This uncertainty acts against tapping into Europe's flexibility potential and constrains long-term strategic planning for plant owners. Addressing these challenges is imperative for Europe to navigate its energy transition and ensure a sustainable and resilient energy future.

Grand'Maison, France, EDF

Latest developments

Albania
Angola
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Burundi
Cameroon
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Ecuador
Egypt
Estonia
Finland
Gabon
Georgia
Germany
Guyana
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Italy
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Liberia
Madagascar
Malaysia
Mexico
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Nigeria
Norway
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Russia
Rwanda
Senegal
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
UAE
Uganda
United Kingdom
United States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Zambia

Albania

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,153
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
7
TWh

Norwegian energy giant Statkraft announced in September 2023 that it is evaluating the possibility of expanding the hydropower fleet on the Devoll river cascade, by adding a new PSH facility. The expected capacity of the plant will be around 1,200MW. The reservoir will exploit the natural flat morphology of the upper part of the valley, located around 8km east of the existing Moglicë Dam. The feasibility study phase is expected to end in 2024. The implementation phase could start as soon as 2025, with the plant reaching commercial operations by 2030

Angola

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,836
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
11
TWh

The 2,070MW Laúca hydropower station in Angola, constructed by ANDRITZ, is now fully operational, contributing to the country's energy supply and socioeconomic development, with plans for a green hydrogen project in partnership with German companies. Angola is also embarking on ambitious hydropower projects like the 2,172MW Caculo-Cabaca hydropower station in collaboration with China. It is also aiming to connect to the Southern African Power Pool to enhance regional power integration and meet growing demand.

Argentina

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
11,359
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
974
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
39
TWh

Argentina’s 750MW Río Grande de Córdoba plant, the largest PSH project in South America, is set for a major upgrade. Currently operating at only 50% efficiency due to ageing infrastructure, a US$100 million investment aims to modernise the facility, restoring its full operational potential. The 1,310MW hydropower development of the Santa Cruz River has reached 50% of construction progress.

The complex will include the 950MW Presidente Néstor Kirchner plant equipped with five Francis turbines, and the 360MW Governor Jorge Cepernic plant, featuring three Kaplan turbines. Together, they are expected to generate up to 5TWh annually. This large-scale investment, nearing US$5 billion, is 70% financed by the China Gezhouba Group Company Limited, in partnership with Argentine firms. It will supply electricity to over a million homes in the country.

Australia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
8,576
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
2,461
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
17
TWh

Australia continues to promote clean energy and to phase out coal capacity, with energy storage playing a critical role in its push towards a renewable energy future in the country. The Queensland Premier has allocated another A$13m in the state budget to accelerate key technical studies to enable a final investment decision to advance the 1 GW/24 GWh Borumba PSH project near Gympie in the state’s south-east.

Queensland’s mid-coast is set to provide 5 GW of storage – enough to supply half of Queensland’s entire energy needs. Stage one of the Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro project, said to be part of the largest pumped hydro energy storage scheme in the world (according to Queensland’s premier), was announced in September 2022 and is estimated to be completed in 2032, with the final stage operational by 2035.


Austria

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
11,821
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
3,485
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
44
TWh

Austria continues to be a leader in PSH development. The local pipeline currently accounts for almost 2.17GW of hydropower and PSH schemes, of which over 1GW is currently under construction. Ebensee, sited on Lake Tarun and developed by Energie AG, achieved a significant milestone last year, commencing its on-site preparatory works. Construction is likely to take four years, with the 170MW variable-speed turbine, supplied by ANDRITZ Hydro, due to begin operations towards the end of 2027. In June 2023, Verbund announce the start of construction work on the Stegenwald run-of-river plant. Once completed, the plant will have a capacity of 14.3MW with an annual expected generation of 73GWh.

Azerbaijan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
1,302
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
2
TWh

President Ilham Aliyev outlined in October 2023 that Azerbaijan is seeking to expand its hydropower capacity from 170MW to 500MW within two to three years. He said this progress will represent “another important contribution to the green energy transition

Bhutan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,335
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
11
TWh

As of August 2023, the 1,020MW Punatsangchhu-II hydropower project was 95% complete. In February 2024, the successful reservoir filling was marked with a ceremony to coincide with the King’s birthday. The project is aiming to commission its generating units by the end of 2024. Meanwhile, the 118MW Nikachhu dam was commissioned in November 2023. Electricity was exported to India in late January 2024.

Bolivia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
759
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
2
TWh

Bolivia is focusing on advancing several hydropower projects in the pipeline. The Ivirizu hydropower project, comprising two plants in cascade, Sehuencas and Juntas, with a combined installed capacity exceeding 292MW, has reached 82% completion and is expected to commence full operation in March 2025.

Similarly, progress on the Miguillas hydropower complex is underway, consisting of two systems: Umapalca (86MW) and Palillada (119MW). The former has achieved 62% construction completion, while the latter is at 23%. The commissioning of these plants is anticipated for October 2025 and December 2026 respectively

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,263
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
420
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
6
TWh

This Balkan country has recently seen multiple hydropower developments. In June 2023, the China Gezhouba Group commenced construction of the 160MW Dabar hydropower plant, in the municipality of Bileća. The project is expected to have a total cost of €244 million, of which 85% is provided through a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, with the state-owned power company Elektroprivreda Republika Srpska (ERS) contributing the remaining 15%. The Mrsovo hydropower plant, also
developed by ERS, began construction works in August 2023. The plant will have a capacity of 37MW and total cost will be about €100 million.

Brazil

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
109,896
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
20
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
427
TWh

In 2023, hydropower contributed to 67% of Brazil’s total electricity generation. Throughout the year, the country connected numerous small-scale hydropower projects to the grid, adding a total of 118MW in installed capacity, bringing the total number of operating projects in the country to 1,330. Additionally, 34 projects totalling 438MW are in advanced construction stages, while 70 projects totalling 1,249MW received licensing approval and began construction.

With these developments, over 60% of Brazil's estimated 172GW hydropower potential has already been developed. In addition to new projects, the hydropower sector is actively engaged in modernisation initiatives. In June, turbine No. 3 at the 1,551MW Jupiá plant, operated by CTG Brasil, underwent successful upgrades. Following this, in August, ENGIE Brasil Energia has contracted ANDRITZ for the renovation of the 424MW Jaguara plant.

Burundi

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
99
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
<1
TWh

Hydroneo East Africa's call for tenders for the Mpanda hydroelectric power station in Burundi marks a significant step, with plans to supply 10% of the country's electricity through a public-private partnership (PPP) with REGIDESO. This initiative is part of Burundi's broader efforts to bolster renewable energy capacity, also evidenced by upcoming projects like the regional Rusumo Falls plant and the Dama and Siku hydroelectric stations, supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Cameroon

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
822
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
6
TWh

In May 2024, the first 60MW turbine was switched on at Cameroon's Nachtigal hydropower project. The 420MW project is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of 2024. In April 2023, Savannah Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cameroon government, marking a significant stride towards the development of the Bini Warak hydroelectric project, a 75MW initiative slated for construction in the northern Adamawa region. Meanwhile, plans are also in motion for the 500MW Kikot hydropower project, envisioned as a joint endeavour between EDF and the Cameroon government under a PPP model.

Canada

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
83,312
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
177
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
392
TWh

Provincial utility BC Hydro released its updated 10-year capital plan, Power Pathway: Building BC’s energy future, which the BC government said will lead to an “unprecedented” level of construction for community and regional infrastructure. This will include generation and transmission to support a significant increase in electrification and emissions-reduction infrastructure projects in a province where 98% of the electricity mix is renewables, the vast majority of that coming from hydropower. The C$36 billion plan includes C$21 billion to sustain existing capital assets, dam safety and reliability.

BC Hydro also announced strong support from a diverse range of current and prospective industrial customers for advancing planning of the proposed 500kV transmission infrastructure from Prince George to Terrace, which will connect north coast industries to the main grid.

Finally, construction on Site C continued and a major milestone was reached: the completion of the earthfill dam, the third hydroelectric dam on the Peace River. Once complete, the Site C hydropower facility will provide 1,100MW of capacity and produce about 5.1TWh of electricity each year. Construction on the project began in July 2015 and all six generating units are expected to be in service by 2025.

Provincial utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG) initiated an extensive 16-year overhaul of the second-largest hydroelectric station in the province, R.H. Saunders Generating Station (1,045MW). During the project, each of the facility’s 16 units will be overhauled, including replacing the turbine runners with newer, more efficient designs. OPG announced that its five hydropower generating stations in Niagara delivered their highest energy output in over 40 years, at 13.2TWh, an increase of 0.5TWh from the previous year and the region’s highest output since 1982. Each year, these plants meet about 10% of Ontario’s energy needs.

In its Action Plan 2035 – Towards a Decarbonized and Prosperous Québec, provincial utility Hydro-Québec announced major investments for infrastructure resilience, energy efficiency and doubling electricity generation by 2050. Approximately 3,800-4,200MW of new hydropower generation will be added by increasing the capacity of existing generating stations and developing new hydropower facilities, including a PSH facility. The investment in the whole programme, of which hydropower is just one element, is expected to be C$160 billion.

Chile

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
7,517
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
24
TWh

Small and micro projects across Chile increased the country's hydropower capacity by 228MW. The country is also progressing with various hydropower projects, including the pioneering

Espejo de Tarapaca project. This 300MW PSH facility will be co-located with the 561MW photovoltaic solar plant, Cielos de Tarapacá. Moreover, it will operate with locally sourced seawater, standing out as the first of its kind in the country and the region.

China

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
421,540
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
50,940
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
1,141
TWh

In 2023 China installed a total of 6.7GW of new hydropower capacity nationwide, including 6.2GW of PSH. Meanwhile, many PSH projects are nearing the stage of commissioning and operation. As of February 2024, China had a total of 49 PSH stations in operation, while a further 27 have been approved and are being constructed. According to a new national policy called ‘Guidance Opinions on Strengthening Grid Peaking Energy Storage and Smart Dispatch Capacity’, China aims to add another 80GW of PSH by 2027.  The world's highest-altitude PSH power station has officially started construction in the Yalong river basin. The Yalongjiang Daofu PSH project will have a total installed capacity of 2.1GW and an annual power generation of 3TWh.

Colombia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
13,206
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
60
TWh

In 2023, four new hydropower projects were connected to Colombia’s electricity grid, adding a total of 643MW to the country's installed capacity. This brings the Colombia’s national hydropower capacity to 13,206MW, accounting for 66% of the country’s total energy mix.

Furthermore, Colombia is progressing with the development of Ituango plant, its largest run-of-river project with 2,400MW, composed of eight 300MW Francis turbines. Although construction began in September 2010, the project faced delays, notably due to the collapse of an auxiliary diversion tunnel in April 2018. The project is now back on track and expected to achieve full capacity by the end of 2024 along with certification from the Hydropower Sustainability Standard. The estimated investment for this project is US$5.5 billion, with significant contributions of US$1 billion from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and US$650 million from a consortium of international commercial banks and investors.

Costa Rica

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,372
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
8
TWh

Hydropower continued to generate most of the electricity in Costa Rica, although generation was lower than previous years due to drought. State-run utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) received two hydropower plants that were initiated 20 years ago under a build-own-transfermodel: El General (20MW) and La Joya (50MW). Both plants were operated for 17 years by their respective owners before being transferred.

In addition, the Don Pedro and Río Volcán hydroelectric plants restarted their energy sales to ICE. The combined capacity of 31MW from these plants will reduce energy imports during the dry season and is part of the response to the increase in energy demand in the country.

Côte d’Ivoire

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
879
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
3
TWh

The 44MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydropower project in Côte d’Ivoire represents a significant milestone in private sector-led climate action in West Africa. With a total investment of €174.3 million, including €90.7 million in loans from AfDB, the project is advancing towards its final stages, with the installation of key structures and equipment underway.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,142
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
14
TWh

The 240MW Busanga hydropower plant, a collaborative effort between China and DR Congo, was inaugurated in 2023. Constructed and financed by Chinese enterprises, including China Railway Resources Group and Power Construction Corporation of China, the project is anticipated to produce an average annual electricity output of 1.32TWh. Meanwhile, the Inga 3 hydroelectric project, with a planned capacity of 11,050MW, is slated to be situated on the Bundi river/basin in Bas-Congo.

Currently in the permitting stage, the project is expected to proceed as a single-phase development, with construction commencing in 2026 and commercial operations projected to begin in 2030.

Ecuador

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
5,192
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
25
TWh

Ecuador experienced significant investment in its renewable energy sector, with Ecoener committing US$200 million towards the construction of two run-of-river hydropower plants, Santa Rosa and El Rosario. These projects, totalling 99MW in capacity, are backed by 30-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with the government and legislative reforms were implemented at national level to attract private investment and facilitate the country’s transition to renewable energy.

Despite only 7% of its hydropower potential being developed currently, Ecuador has 3,069MW under construction and plans for an additional 7,000MW, aligning with its goal of sourcing 80% of its electricity from renewable sources in the next decade.

Egypt

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,876
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
15
TWh

Egypt has entered into an agreement with China Energy to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed 2GW PSH project. The memorandum of understanding outlines plans for China Energy to assess the technical, economic, and financial viability of the project.

Siemens Energy will rehabilitate three hydropower plants at Egypt's Aswan hydropower complex, extending their lifespan by 40–50 years and adding 300MW to the grid. This initiative will stabilise power loads for over 1.6 million residents in Aswan and neighbouring areas, with Siemens also providing training to local engineers and technicians to manage the project's advanced technology

Estonia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
8
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
<1
TWh

The Zero Terrain Paldiski underground PSH project, developed by Energislav, was granted permits in January 2023 and is ready for construction. In June 2023 it secured an additional €11 million of private funds from a group of Baltic companies. This new 500MW/6GWh scheme is one of the EU “projects of common interest” and is supported by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

Finland

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,190
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
15
TWh

Kemijoki Oy is reviewing options for developing Ailangantunturi, a 550MW PSH plant in Eastern Lapland. The company has begun discussions with the local authorities and landowners, and is initiating environmental impact assessments. The work includes a programme of new facilities that could total €3 billion of investment, including €600–800 million earmarked for the Ailangantunturi PSH development. Towards the end of 2023, power company Suomen Voima, which already owns five hydropower plants in Norway, announced its intention to develop a new energy storage project: Noste, in Northern Finland. They will construct up to three small-scale PSH plants, for a total capacity of more than 100MW and a total investment of up to €300 million. This plan funded through a €26.3 million grant made available by the European Commission under EU state aid rules.

Gabon

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
331
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
2
TWh

The Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric project in Gabon has secured its initial disbursement of €134 million from various financial institutions. Developed under a public–private partnership by Asonha Energie, majority-owned by Meridiam, and the Gabon Power Company, the 35MW project on the Mbei River has a construction consortium led by Sinohydro, alongside French firms Artelia and EDF. Additionally, Meridiam plans to establish a biodiversity sanctuary, provide electricity to the village of Andock Foula, and support the Kango hospital with essential equipment.

Georgia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,468
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
11
TWh

Georgia announced a new initiative to promote renewable energy. This “Business Universal” programme will finance small renewable energy projects, including hydropower less than 0.5MW.

The country also held its first tender for 300MW of new hydropower and photovoltaics in 2023. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a project safety upgrade at the 1.25GW Enguri hydropower project in October 2023. It will provide €28 million of the extension’s total cost of €35 million. This will include stability works on the dam, rehabilitation of the headrace tunnel, construction of a fish passage and installation of an emergency valve on one turbine penstock.

Germany

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
14,428
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
9,379
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
20
TWh

The expansion and conversion of the Rudolf Fettweis hydropower plant in Forbach reached a final investment decision in May 2023. The existing conventional storage power plant will be modernised and converted into a PSH plant. Owners Energie Baden-Württemberg estimate that the conversion cost will be €280 million, including the
construction of a new powerhouse to accommodate the 57MW pumping facility, the modernisation of existing electromechanical equipment (71MW), and the modification of the existing Forbach basin to serve as the lower reservoir of the scheme.

Guyana

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
0
TWh

Guyana holds significant hydropower potential, estimated at 8.5GW. The most notable project under development is the 165MW Amalia Falls hydropower project. Joint venture opportunities were expanded in December 2023 as the government seeks investment partners to move this initiative forward.

India

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
51,897
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
4,746
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
149
TWh

Across India, PSH projects have continued to advance. In June 2023, NHPC signed an agreement with the state of Odisha to develop a minimum of 2GW of PSH projects and floating solar with a capacity of more than 1,000MW. NHPC also signed an agreement with the state of Maharashtra to collaborate on the development of PSH schemes.

The two parties will work to develop four PSH projects with a combined capacity of 7.35GW. In the state of Gujarat, NHPC sealed an MoU with Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) in early January 2024 to develop the 750MW Kuppa PSH project. In Tamil Nadu, Adani Green Energy announced they will invest INR 245 billion in three PSH projects that will have a combined capacity of 4.9GW over the next five to seven years. In addition, the state’s government has approved 12 PSH projects under public–private partnerships.

The World Bank agreed a loan of US$200 million to Himachal Pradesh in June 2023 to support the addition of 10GW of new renewable energy through the Himachal Pradesh Power Sector Development Programme. This is key to the state’s aim to derive 100% of its power from renewables by 2030. Hydropower provides 80% of its energy supply at present.

In October 2023, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh laid the foundation for a 1.44GW PSH project that will make use of the existing Gandhi Sagar Reservoir, scheduled to be commissioned in 2025. Greenko’s 1.68GW Pinnapuram PSH project is at an advanced stage, with full operation planned before the end of 2024. In August 2023, the Government of India and the state of Arunachal Pradesh came together to agree a plan for 12 hydropower and pumped storage projects totaling 11.5GW.

SJVN announced their intention to build 5GW of hydropower projects in the state, signing an agreement with the Government in August 2023. In November 2023, Minister Shri R.K. Singh indicated that a total of 13 projects will add around 13GW of hydropower in the state, while highlighting that India’s power demand will double by 2030.

Indonesia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
6,784
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
27
TWh

The Indonesian government is under increasing pressure to meet its climate pledges and tackle the environmental issues that have regularly accompanied its development initiatives. The government has realised hydropower is becoming increasingly important in efforts to accelerate Indonesia's energy transition to reach net zero emissions by 2060.  

Indonesia is estimated to have a technical hydropower potential of approximately 80GW, with 6.7GW having been developed. The government aims to add more than 10GW by 2030, with a long-term vision to reach 72GW total capacity and 4.2GW of PSH by 2060. PLN is working on the construction of the Upper Cisokan project, its first PSH plant, on the border of West Bandung and Cianjur.

Although it is yet to enter main construction stage, supporting infrastructure such as road access has been completed. Construction of the largest hydropower project in Indonesia is ongoing. Located in the Kalimantan Industrial Park in Bulungan, the Mentarang Induk project is a 1,375MW hydropower station that will generate electricity from the Mentarang river in Malinau. The plant will connect to the industrial park on a 300km transmission line by the end of 2029. Kayan Hydro Energy is resuming the development of a 9,000MW hydropower project in North Kalimantan after a legal dispute was resolved.

Iran

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
12,719
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
1,040
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
15
TWh

The 176MW Chamshir hydropower project was commissioned in July 2023. The dam is the fifth largest in Iran. With a reservoir capacity of 2.3 million m3 of water when full, it will be the tallest roller compacted concrete dam in Western Asia at 680m.

Iraq

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,756
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
240
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
7
TWh

Routine general maintenance work was successfully completed on the Samarra Dam hydroelectric power station in Northern Iraq. The maintenance allows the operator to reduce loads and ensure reliable operation of generating units during peak load.

Italy

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
22,149
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
7,156
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
40
TWh

Built on an existing water barrage created to regulate the water flow in the rice fields of Northern Italy at a cost of €10m, the Palestro project has been developed by Edison using a crowdfunding programme involving local communities, a first for Italy. With an installed capacity of 3.6 MW on the Sesia river; and generation of 13.5 GWh. This is an interesting example of how retrofitting non-powered dams can create new sources of renewable electricity with strong community buy-in.

Building on the success of the 2022 initiative with the Palestro hydropower plant, Italian utility Edison has inaugurated the Quassolo hydropower plant, boasting a capacity of 2.7MW on the Dora river. This compact yet powerful plant is capable of meeting the electricity needs of approximately 3,000 local households. Development was made possible through a crowdfunding campaign engaging 100 individual investors, with €0.3 million of the total €12 million project investment contributed by local communities. Edison reports that the crowdfunding campaign was exceptionally successful, spanning only 20 days, and the overall project was developed in less than 19 months.

Kazakhstan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,087
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
9
TWh

Kazakhstan set ambitious goals for the development of renewable energy including hydropower. Achieving these goals requires overcoming its dependence on cheap domestic coal and addressing its lack of flexible generating capacity, which provides ample opportunity for foreign hydropower investments. The Kazakh government developed an action plan to increase capacity by 26GW before 2035. This includes at least 600MW from hydropower to be developed by Samruk Energy.

Kyrgyzstan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
4,018
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
13
TWh

Masdar and EDF signed an agreement in December 2023 to support 3.6GW of renewable projects in Kyrgyzstan, including hydropower. Minister of Energy Taalaibek Ibrayev said: “Hydropower is a very important energy source for the Kyrgyz Republic and this agreement will help our nation to strengthen its existing clean energy supply and to develop projects utilising other renewable energy sources.” In March 2023, EBRD agreed to f inance nine small hydropower plants through a US$13.8 million package comprising a sovereign loan of US$8.8 million and investment grant of US$5 million. Part of the financing will be used towards modernising the 7.6MW Lebedinovskaya hydropower project, which was commissioned between 1943-48.

Liberia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
93
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
<1
TWh

The World Bank has committed a sum of US$300 million to finance the construction of a new dam on the St. Paul River in lower Bong County. The project, expected to add 150MW to Liberia's electricity grid, marks a crucial step towards improving access to consistent power.

Madagascar

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
213
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
1
TWh

Hyvity and the Filatex Group have launched ENHY, a collaborative venture aimed at developing, constructing, and operating hydropower plants in Madagascar. With a vision centred on bolstering local, renewable electricity production and enhancing energy independence, ENHY aims to work closely with the Malagasy government and national electricity distributor, Jirama, to realise its goal of developing two hydroelectric facilities annually, starting with projects in the Antsirabe region, and targeting a total capacity of 20MW by 2026.

The Volobe hydropower project reached a significant milestone with the signing of a power purchase agreement between CGHV and Jirama, ensuring essential offtake for the power produced. The project, with an estimated cost of €350 million, is backed by a consortium including Jovena, Scatec, Africa50, and Colas Madagascar.

Malaysia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
6,372
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
32
TWh

Tenaga Nasional Berhad is set to build 2.5GW of hybrid hydro-floating solar (HHFS) projects at its hydropower dams. It will initially install 30MW at its Chenderoh reservoir and follow up with work at its Temenggor and Kenyir reservoirs.

Gamuda will establish a joint venture to develop a 187.5MW hydropower plant in Tenom, with the total project cost estimated to be around RM 4 billion (US$850 million). This project, upon completion, will deliver up to 1,052GWh of clean energy annually. It is expected to start construction in 2024, with commercial operation to begin in 2029.  In addition, Sarawak Energy started construction of its first 50MW floating solar unit, with plans for more in the coming years.

Mexico

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
12,614
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
18 TWh
TWh

Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Mexico's state-owned utility, plans to refurbish and upgrade seven ageing hydroelectric plants, increasing capacity by an estimated 11MW. These improvements will extend the life of these assets without changing existing reservoir or dam infrastructure. This initiative aligns with Mexico's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, diminish reliance on natural gas imports, and increase renewable energy.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank (MIGA) has issued a guarantee of US$536 million for a duration of 15 years to back this work. These plans will be undertaken against a backdrop of severe drought in Mexico. Hydropower output fell by 40% in 2023 to the lowest level since 2017 due to a severe drought that affected 80% of the territory. This has slowed policy developments designed to prioritise energy generation from hydropower.

Morocco

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
1,770
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
465
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
1
TWh

The El Menzel PSH plant near Séfrou is one of the most significant projects in Africa’s pipeline. It is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of 2028, adding 300MW to the grid. The project will enhance the country's clean energy transition by integrating renewable energy sources, improving grid stability, and meeting peak electricity demand, with co-financing secured from the Islamic Development Bank.

Mozambique

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,217 MW
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
16 TWh
TWh

Mozambique aims to tap its potential by partnering with an EDF-led consortium to develop the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project. Valued at US$5 billion, this initiative aims to harness the Zambezi River's energy, with the first phase set to generate 1,500MW of power.

The country plans to halt its long-standing hydropower supply to South Africa by 2030, redirecting the electricity generated by the Cahora Bassa plant for domestic use. This decision poses challenges for South Africa's electricity supply and the operations of Mozambique's Mozal aluminium smelter, which relies on imported power.

Namibia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
347
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
2
TWh

The Baynes hydropower project is poised to be a significant addition to Namibia's energy infrastructure, with a planned capacity of 878MW on the Cunene river basin. Currently in the permitting stage, the project is expected to be developed in multiple phases, with commissioning anticipated by 2031.

Nepal

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,640
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
3
TWh

More than 400MW of new hydropower capacity came online in Nepal last year, with the commissioning of the 86MW Solu Dhola (Dudhakoshi) project – Nepal’s first privately developed project – plus the 38.46MW Upper Kalangad, 44MW Super Madi and 40MW Upper Chameliya projects and numerous others. Elsewhere in Nepal, projects in the pipeline have been progressing. In November 2023, the river was successfully diverted at the site of the 140MW Tanahu hydropower project, which is being developed with support from Tractebel and Manitoba Hydro International and expected to be commissioned in 2026.

Druk Green Power began constructing the 26MW Druk Bindu hydropower project, with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place in October 2023. It is due to be completed in 2027. In December 2023, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an MOU for a partnership to support the 1,050MW Upper Arun and 635MW Dudhkoshi hydropower projects. Meanwhile, in September 2023, the Government of Nepal accepted a US$6 million loan from the World Bank for a pre-feasibility study of the Upper Arun Project.  The IFC reviewed its “Nepal Environmental and Social (E&S) Hydropower Programme (2016 to 2023)” and found that it had benefited 67 hydropower projects producing a total of 3,919MW, with additional projects in the pipeline. As part of the activity, it also included training for local experts, using global best practices.

Nigeria

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,851
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
8
TWh

In early 2023, Nigeria celebrated the commissioning of a 40MW station at the Dadinkowa hydropower project in Gombe state. This project, developed by Mabon Energy and situated at the Kashimbila multipurpose dam site, features two 20MW turbine generators and includes essential transmission infrastructure such as a 132kV switchyard and transmission lines. GE Vernova installed four 175MW Francis hydropower turbines and generators at Mainstream Energy’s Zungeru project. With a total capacity of 700MW, the project is Nigeria's second-largest hydropower plant, poised to contribute approximately 10% of the nation's electricity needs while also providing flood control and irrigation support.

Norway

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
33,897
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
1,441
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
137
TWh

During 2023, Norway commissioned 20 small hydropower plants, with a total capacity of 96MW and expected annual production of 324GWh, and a small PSH
project of 6.8MW. The most significant of these is the 27.1MW Storåvatn 2 hydropower project.

Pakistan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
10,649
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
35
TWh

In December 2023, the Government of Pakistan announced that the 4.2MW Nai Gaj was ordered to be completed in 2024. The 969MW Neelum Jhelum project, which was closed in July 2022 after cracks were discovered in the tailrace tunnel, returned to operations in August 2023 after the tunnel and blockage were repaired.

Panama

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
1,848
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
6
TWh

The Changuinola II hydropower project (224MW) is currently in the design phase by developer Bocas del Toro Energy S.A. and is scheduled for completion in 2029. This forms part of the 2020–2034 expansion plan of the country’s national interconnected electricity system.

Paraguay

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
8,810 MW
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
48 TWh
TWh

AFRY, in consortium with Latinoconsult, has secured the contract for planning and supervising the rehabilitation and modernisation of the 200MW Acaray hydropower plant, commissioned in 1969. Additionally, a global vertically integrated Bitcoin mining company has acquired two PPAs in Paraguay, enabling access to up to 150MW of hydropower.

This includes up to 50MW in Villarrica, near the company's existing operations, and up to 100MW in Yguazu, situated close to the 14GW Itaipu dam. Furthermore, Paraguay is advancing plans to utilise hydropower for hydrogen production, with NeoGreen Hydrogen Corp. recently securing a long-term 75MW baseload PPA with ANDE, the national electricity company.

Peru

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
5,515
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
29
TWh

In Peru, a significant surge in hydropower projects is anticipated, with 21 plants scheduled for commissioning between 2023 and 2028, collectively adding 1,746MW to the country’s energy capacity. Plans are also in place for the Manseriche project, set to deliver a substantial 7,550MW upon completion, with construction expected to begin in 2029 and commercial operation targeted for 2033.

China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) is actively exploring investment opportunities and potential acquisitions to fortify its presence in Peru. Having acquired the Chaglla plant four years ago, CTG aims to double its capacity in the country, potentially exceeding 900MW. Ardian, a private investment firm, has disclosed its acquisition of a Peruvian hydropower company, adding a fully operational suite of six run-of-river hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 73MW to its portfolio.

Philippines

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
4,579
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
735
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
10
TWh

The Philippines is faced with increasing pressure to strengthen energy security. National policy continues to support renewables, demonstrated by the launch of a Renewable Energy Roadmap. This outlines an ambition to achieve at least 35% renewable energy share in the total generation mix by 2030, and to increase installed capacity to at least 20GW by 2040. The 800MW Laguna PSH project is currently at the permitting stage. It was announced in October 2022 and will cost US$1.3 billion.

In 2023, the national government approved the 8.4MW Maladugao River hydropower plant, which is expected to go online in 2025. A 24MW battery storage facility (BESS) providing ancillary services to the grid also went into commercial operation at the site of a hydropower plant in Ramon.

Russia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
55,819
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
1,385
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
219
TWh

There are promising signs that the Russian Government is seeking to expand its hydropower capacity. In April 2023, Krasnogorsk 1 and Krasnogorsk 2 hydropower plants were commissioned, with each having a capacity of 24.9MW for a total capacity of 49.8MW. Several other hydropower projects are planned or being constructed as part of RusHydro’s small hydro programme in the North Caucuses. Modernisation efforts are contributing to hydropower capacity growth in Russia. Upgrades to and replacement of Unit 10 at the Votkinskaya hydropower project increased its capacity from 100MW to 115MW. In early 2024, the Ezminskaya hydropower project saw an increase in efficiency and capacity for three units, raising their capacity from 45MW to 60MW.

In October 2023, Fedor Opadchiy, Chairman of SO-UES, highlighted that the country has only used 20% of its hydropower potential and stated that “this share can certainly be increased.” He also noted that there is roughly 11.5GW of pipeline hydropower capacity (including PSH) which they plan to complete by 2042. This was echoed in December 2023 by the Deputy Minister of Energy, Pavel Snikkars, who outlined that Russia would need to harness more of its hydropower potential to support its agricultural, transport and energy sectors. In January 2024, Deputy Minister Snikkars indicated legislative solutions would be required to expand price limits of the wholesale market, including in the Far Eastern Federal District, where there will be a need for additional generation construction. These actions will be important to reduce deficits of 4.3GW of capacity anticipated across the country. Necessary measures outlined for the development of hydropower include “identifying sources of financing for the construction of new hydroelectric power stations and introducing legal regulation for the creation of reservoirs.”

Rwanda

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
143
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
1
TWh

PowerChina initiated the main construction phase of Rwanda's Nyabarongo II multipurpose project, funded by a concessional loan from China Exim Bank. With a capacity to generate 43.5MW of electricity, Nyabarongo II aims to power at least 43,000 homes and provide water for domestic consumption and irrigation. The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project is nearing completion, marking a significant milestone in the country's efforts to strengthen its power supply.

Led by the governments of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania, the project aims to bring 26.7MW of renewable and low-cost power to the national grids of each country (80MW in total). The project has received support from various stakeholders, including the World Bank and AfDB, highlighting the collaborative effort involved in its implementation.

Senegal

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
81
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
<1
TWh

Construction has commenced on the 128MW Sambangalou hydroelectric project in Senegal, with VINCI overseeing the development alongside other partners. The project includes the construction of a dam and reservoir with a capacity of 4 billion m3, providing water for energy generation, irrigation and drinking. The electricity generated will benefit the Gambia River Basin Development Organisation countries, with VINCI Energies installing high-voltage lines.

South Africa

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,600
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
2,912
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
6
TWh

The South African government launched the DWS Hydropower Independent Producer Programme to attract private investment in hydropower. Aimed at addressing the energy crisis and boosting renewable energy, the programme opened bidding on 17 April 2023. Developers are required to submit concept-level designs and supporting information, such as wetlands studies and environmental assessments, but there is frustration over the lack of clarity on how submissions are to be evaluated.

Despite significant investments and efforts, none have progressed beyond the initial stage. In 2023, South Africa faced severe electricity shortages due to the increased breakdown of ageing coal plants. Despite these challenges, investments in the modernisation of infrastructure, such as the Steenbras Hydro Pump Station, have played a critical role in alleviating the impact of the electricity shortages.

Spain

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
20,425
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
5,650
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
25
TWh

In January 2023, the Chiara PSH plant in Gran Canaria received €90 million in grant support from the European Regional Development Fund. This project is being developed by the local system operator, a unique ownership structure for Europe. Upon completion, the plant will boast a 200MW capacity in turbine mode, 220MW in pumping mode, and a total storage capacity of 3.6GWh. It will also be linked with a seawater desalination plant.

In May 2023, GE Vernova was commissioned to deliver six reversible PSH units for the plant. In March 2023, Iberdrola obtained approval from the Spanish Government for the Valdecañas PSH project. This plant will have a total power output of 275MW and is a hybrid system including chemical batteries with a capacity of 15MW, storing up to 7.5MWh of energy.

The combined energy storage of the battery and hydraulic units will be 210GWh, the equivalent of 5.2 million electric vehicle batteries. The Spanish market has seen some new entrants in the past 12 months. Energo-Pro has purchased ten existing hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of 167MW and a company that has recently applied for the grant of a concession for a new 400MW pumped storage plant. This market expansion was financially supported by a €300 million loan provided J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Sweden

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
16,391
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
91
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
66
TWh

Vattenfall has announced ambitious plans to enhance its hydropower capacity by constructing an additional 720MW. The energy company is engaged in pilot studies to facilitate any investment decisions. This expanded capacity will be achieved through the development and expansion of four hydropower projects: Harsprånget (110MW), Porjus (80MW) and Messaure (150MW) on the Luleälv river, plus Juktan (380MW) on Lake Storjuktan, which may also be the subject of a PSH conversion.

Tajikistan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
6,484
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
21
TWh

Construction of the 3.78GW Rogun project continues, with the World Bank enhancing its support with a US$15 million technical assistance package announced in January 2023. The AIIB announced a US$500 million soft loan in March 2023. The Saudi Fund for Development also announced a US$100 million loan for the project in December 2023, intended to finance the construction of the 335-metre-tall dam. In April 2023, President Emomali Rahmon visited and “commissioned” Unit 1, now 38MW, of the Sarband hydropower project. Due to extensive refurbishment and modernisation, the plant has seen its rated capacity of 240MW increase to 270MW, with support from ADB. EBRD and the Green Climate Fund created the US$50 million Green Economy Financing Facility Tajikistan II in September 2023. Up to US$13 million will be provided to domestic f inancial institutions to be lent to local projects. In October 2023, EBRD also pledged to enhance regional connectivity for Tajikistan, including a rehabilitation project to modernise the 60-year Qairokkum hydropower project and provide electricity to 500,000 people. Training to adopt best practices for mitigating climate change in hydropower plant operations was included in the project. Masdar announced a joint venture agreement in October 2023 to target 500MW of new renewable energy projects, including solar and hydropower.

Tanzania

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
824
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
2
TWh

Tanzania's power utility company, TANESCO, has initiated the connection of electricity from the 2,115MW Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) to the national grid. The JNHPP is being constructed under a joint contract with Arab Contractors and El-Sewedy from Egypt, and the first of its 235MW turbines was activated in February 2024. When completed, the project is expected to double the country's current power output, and it will rank as the fourth-largest dam in Africa and ninth largest in the world.

Tanzania has also secured funding for the 87.8MW Kakono hydropower plant, with the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement jointly committing US$154.9 million towards the project's total cost of US$314.1 million.

Thailand

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
4,569
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
1,531
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
7
TWh

Most of Thailand’s power generation is fossil-fuel based. The country’s renewable energy mix consists of 30% biomass, 25% hydropower, 24% solar, 13% wind and 8% other sources such as waste and geothermal power. Together, these renewable sources account for approximately 14.9% of Thailand’s total energy mix, though the government aims to increase this to 30% by 2037. Within its alternative energy development plan for 2018–2037, Thailand aims to add 3GW of hydropower to its power system.  It also hopes to expand interconnection with neighbouring countries that have significant hydropower capacity. In 2023, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) signed a contract with an industry consortium for the development of a hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Ubol Ratana Dam. In total, the company plans to install 15 hydro-floating solar hybrid projects nationwide, with a combined capacity of 2,725MW, to support renewable energy demands.

UAE

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
0
TWh

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority announced its first PSH project had reached 74% completion in September 2023. The 240MW Hatta site will have a storage capacity of 1.5GWh, with commissioning planned for 2025.

Uganda

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
1,503
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
6
TWh

The final unit of the Chinese-built 600MW Karuma hydropower plant was synchronised with Uganda’s national grid in 2023. Financed largely by China, the project is vital for meeting Uganda's increasing electricity needs.

United Kingdom

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
4,723
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
2,833
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
5
TWh

The UK PSH market was recently revitalised by the prospect of a remuneration mechanism tailored to long duration energy storage technologies. This mechanism, consulted on in early 2024, is designed to provide long-term revenue visibility to PSH developers though the implementation of a “cap and floor” pricing system.

Cruachan 2 PSH has recently received development approval from the Scottish Government. Developed by Drax, the project aims to expand the existing Cruachan power station by adding a new 600MW underground pumping station. In December 2023, Statkraft announced an agreement with Land Investments Group for the acquisition of the 450MW/2.9GWh Red John PSH scheme in Scotland.

United States of America

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
102,120
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
22,170
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
240
TWh

The 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes three incentive offerings specifically for the hydropower sector, for which there were significant developments in 2023. The first incentive is for Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives (section 247) supports asset owners who make capital investments to improve grid resilience, improve dam safety, or reduce environmental impacts. Applications were requested in 2023, and DOE anticipates announcing those selected for negotiations in 2024.

The second initiative focuses on Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentive (section 243), which supports owners or operators of existing facilities who make capital investments that improve their efficiency by at least 3%. In February 2024, DOE Grid Deployment Office announced the selection of 46 hydroelectric projects across 19 states to receive up to US$71.5 million in incentive payments. The owners or operators of hydroelectric facilities receiving the incentives, including PSH, will make capital improvements that improve their facility’s efficiency by an average of 14%.

Lastly, the third incentive, Hydroelectric Production Incentives (section 242) provided to qualified hydroelectric facilities for electricity generated and sold. In October 2023, DOE announced that 66 hydropower facilities throughout the country will receive more than US$36.7 million in incentive payments for electricity generated and sold in 2021 and 2022.

There were also several positive developments in PSH. Duke Energy announced its plans to extend the operating license for the Bad Creek PSH project to almost double the capacity of the site. Upon completion (2033), the Bad Creek II station will have a capacity of approximately 1,640MW, which will make it one of the largest PSH stations in the US. US Army Corps of Engineers reports that Rye Development will construct four new hydropower plants at Corps locking facilities on all three major rivers in the greater Pittsburgh region. The four facilities are expected to generate 250GWh annually. Construction dates have not been announced.

In early 2024, Rye Development announced it had been chosen by DOE to receive US$81 million in funding for the Lewis Ridge PSH project. This selection comes as part of DOE’s Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land, funded under the BIL.

Uruguay

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
1,538
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
3
TWh

In Uruguay, renewable sources accounted for 91% of electricity generation in 2023, with approximately 45% from hydropower. However, the country faced challenges due to a historic drought in the first half of the year, resulting in the lowest hydropower energy production in the last 20 years.

In July 2023, IDB approved a credit of up to US$800 million to support the modernisation of the Salto Grande, a 1,890MW binational hydropower complex in Argentina and Uruguay. This financing aims to enhance the reliability, availability and environmental sustainability of the complex while extending its operational lifespan.

Uzbekistan

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
2,271
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
7
TWh

JSC Uzbekhydroenergo tendered for developers for five new hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 46.6MW in August 2023. These projects will be developed as public–private partnerships to promote foreign direct investment in the country. In March 2024, Masdar announced it would investigate the building of the first PSH station in Uzbekistan in an agreement with the country, with the project likely to be 1.6GW and capable of generating 2.8TWh of electricity.

Venezuela

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
17,042
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
69
TWh

There have been limited hydropower developments in Venezuela due to the country’s ongoing energy crisis. However, there are signs of improvement, as some plants that were not operating at full capacity due to severe droughts are being brought back to life. For example, in February 2024, Venezuelan authorities announced the reactivation of the General José Antonio Páez hydropower complex after four months of intensive repair work.

With two turbines currently operational, the plant is expected to supply 120MW to the electrical grid. Plans are in place to activate two more turbines by the end of April, bringing the complex's total capacity to 240MW. Additionally, during the repair work, over 30,000m3of sediment were removed from the reservoir.

Vietnam

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
22,878
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
81
TWh

Hydropower sources in Vietnam have the potential to produce up to 40GW of electricity. However, Vietnam is not actively promoting hydropower additions. According to the most recent government energy transition plan, wind, solar and other renewable sources – excluding hydropower – are set to cover nearly 31% of the country's energy needs by 2030, up from about 25% in 2020. Their contribution could rise further to 47%. Hydropower capacity is predicted to grow to 29.35GW by 2030 – which would account for 19.5% of the mix, down from over 30% in 2020 – and to reach 36GW by 2050. Concerns are rising on the impact of changing weather patterns on hydropower availability in Vietnam. As of the end of 2019, major hydropower dams saw record low water levels due to changing weather patterns in the country, raising questions over the generation output for years to come.  Vietnam sees an imbalance in its power supply. The northern region mainly relies on hydropower and coal for electricity, both of which have been short of materials. This has led to delays in energy production and distribution.

Zambia

Hydropower installed capacity (2023)
3,164
MW
Pumped storage installed capacity (2023)
0
MW
Generation by hydropower (2023)
17
TWh

Zambia's Energy Ministry confirmed the cancellation of the Batoka hydropower plant contract, citing concerns over adherence to proper procurement methods and the project's high costs. This decision aims to re-evaluate the project's financial aspects and explore more viable options.

In April 2023, ZESCO commissioned the 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydropower plant, a US$2 billion project. Despite initial challenges, ZESCO completed the remaining 600MW, ensuring full utilisation of the plant's capacity.

Countries to watch

Key

Low unexploited potential/minimal policy activity/limited project pipeline
Moderate unexploited potential/some policy activity/intermediate project pipeline
High unexploited potential/strong policy activity/Large project pipeline
Country
Unexploited potential
Policy activity
Development pipeline
Canada (Québec) 

Canada (Québec) 

Unexploited potential

The province’s electricity mix is dominated by hydropower, but over 40GW of potential remains.

Policy activity

Hydro-Québec’s strategic plan includes building greenfield hydropower to decarbonise the province’s economy.

Development pipeline

Preliminary studies were launched for a development on the Petit Mécatina river, with a potential of 1,200MW.

Canada (British Columbia)  

Canada (British Columbia)  

Unexploited potential

The province’s electricity mix is dominated by hydropower, but over 30GW of potential remains.

Policy activity

C$36 billion of infrastructure spending has been announced to support electrification to meet climate goals.

Development pipeline

New transmission lines have been announced that will connect hydropower from the main grid to north coast industries.

USA

USA

Unexploited potential

While the USA has exhausted most of its feasible greenfield hydropower potential, significant opportunities still remain for PSH.

Policy activity

Landmark new laws have provided tax incentives and unlocked funding for new PSH development.

Development pipeline

A significant increase of PSH capacity through upgrades and new development has been announced.

Mexico

Mexico

Unexploited potential

The country has a well-established hydropower fleet, with potential remaining.

Policy activity

Refurbishment of hydropower facilities is expected to increase hydropower capacity.

Development pipeline

Droughts affected hydropower generation in 2023.

Argentina 

Argentina 

Unexploited potential

The country only uses around 20% of its estimated potential. 

Policy activity

Argentina has implemented several policies and fiscal incentives to support hydropower development, including feed-in tariffs and PPAs through the GENREN programme, specifically targeting small hydro projects up to 30MW. 

Development pipeline

Several substantial hydropower projects are in progress, such as Corpus Argentina (3,500MW), Santa Cruz Plant (1,310MW) and Codón de Plata (1,100MW).

Bolivia

Bolivia

Unexploited potential

Bolivia has only used around 2% of its estimated hydropower potential, although approximately 80% of the untapped capacity is located in very remote areas.

Policy activity

Bolivia prioritises large-scale hydropower projects through state-owned utilities, significantly investing in capacity expansion with support from national funds and international loans.

Development pipeline

The pipeline includes the 3,000MW binational Rio Madeira project, along with several medium and small-scale projects currently underway.

Ecuador 

Ecuador 

Unexploited potential

Ecuador has harnessed approximately 7% of its hydropower potential.

Policy activity

The Ecuadorian Government has included hydropower development in its long-term planning. With ambitions for up to 80% of the nation's electricity supply to be sourced from renewables, including hydropower, new laws and regulations have been introduced to encourage private investment in the sector.

Development pipeline

Ecuador aims to harness its untapped hydropower potential, exemplified by the Zamora G8, G9, and G10 cascading project with a total capacity of 7,225MW. Several medium-size projects in the pipeline seek support from foreign investments.

United Kingdom 

United Kingdom 

Unexploited potential

Substantial PSH potential to exploit.

Policy activity

The government is showing support for new PSH development and is currently studying the implementation of an ad-hoc remuneration mechanism for LDES technologies. It is estimated that in Great Britain up to 50GW of long-duration flexibility will be needed by 2035.

Development pipeline

Several PSH projects are under development for a combined installed capacity of over 7GW and 136GWh of energy storage. Recent support shown by the UK Government has substantially sparked the market, attracting local and international investment.

Spain

Spain

Unexploited potential

Limited conventional hydropower potential remains, but there is great scope to develop new PSH assets or convert existing facilities.

Policy activity

The Spanish Government has set targets to develop 22GW of storage capacity by 2030. A grant scheme of €100 million has been made available for PSH development.

Development pipeline

Six PSH projects in Spain are currently in permitting stage or under construction. Combined, these have an installed capacity of around 2.5GW with over 740GWh of energy storage.

Austria

Austria

Unexploited potential

Limited conventional hydropower potential remains to be developed, but PSH potential is significant.

Policy activity

The 2021 Renewable Energy Expansion Act sets a challenging target to increase hydropower production by 4TWh by 2030.

Development pipeline

Austria has over 2.7GW of hydropower plants under development (1GW under construction), of which the vast majority are PSH assets.

Switzerland 

Switzerland 

Unexploited potential

Limited conventional hydropower potential remains to be developed, but PSH potential is significant.

Policy activity

Between 2020 and 2021, the Swiss Government identified 16 PSH projects through a multi-stakeholder consultation aiming to develop 2TWh of capacity over two decades. A new law introduced in 2023 simplifies approval processes for PSH projects.

Development pipeline

The country has solid plans to boost its long-duration energy storage through the development of 16 new PSH projects, though these are currently in early stage.

Türkiye 

Türkiye 

Unexploited potential

According to the Turkish Government there is over 130TWh of technically exploitable hydropower potential in the country, of which 60-70TWh is currently used. 

Policy activity

The Turkish Government has substantially supported the development of new hydropower facilities over the last 20 years and placed hydropower resources at the core of its energy policies. 

Development pipeline

Türkiye has 2.3GW of hydropower projects currently under development, of which 460MW are under construction.  

Angola 

Angola 

Unexploited potential

Angola has an exploitable hydropower potential of 12GW, with only 4GW currently utilised, making it a priority in the government's infrastructure plans to meet growing electricity demand.

Policy activity

The government aims to achieve cost-reflective tariffs by 2025 and increase financial autonomy for utilities. Angola's long-term energy strategy focuses on increasing electrification rates and capacity, with external financing and private investment crucial for future projects.

Development pipeline

The country is advancing renewable energy initiatives with China's support, as seen in the Caculo-Cabaca Hydropower Station project. 

Burundi

Burundi

Unexploited potential

Burundi’s estimated hydropower potential is 1,700MW of which 20% is economically viable.

Policy activity

Burundi–China cooperation in the energy sector has been significant, with projects like the Ruzibazi hydropower plant completed ahead of schedule with Chinese assistance. Ongoing discussions and funding mobilisation for future projects underscore the importance of China's continued support.

Development pipeline

The completion of the Regional Rusumo Falls hydropower plant, with a portion of its output dedicated to Burundi, will reduce reliance on costly thermal generation. Additionally, the Jiji and Mulembwe hydropower project is set to increase the country's installed capacity by 50% in the next two years.

Egypt

Egypt

Unexploited potential

Although most potential hydropower has already been used, opportunities remain for small hydro and pumped storage.

Policy activity

Egypt joined the Battery Energy Storage Systems Alliance (BESS), which is one of the main initiatives of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) during COP28 in Dubai.

Development pipeline

Egypt is partnering with China Energy to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed 2GW PSH plant. If realised, it would be the largest PSH project in Africa.

Nigeria 

Nigeria

Unexploited potential

The total exploitable hydropower potential is estimated to exceed 14,120MW, translating to over 50.8TWh annually.

Policy activity

Despite its vast potential, Nigeria's hydropower sector faces hurdles such as funding constraints and infrastructure deficiencies. However, the government aims to overcome these challenges with strategic partnerships and innovative financing models.

Development pipeline

Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Water Resources has initiated a tender for private partners to construct, operate, and maintain the 20MW Farin Ruwa hydropower plant through a concession agreement. 

India 

India 

Unexploited potential

The CEA reports that India has only developed 29% of its total hydroelectric potential of 145.3GW, while also having 100GW of potential PSH, with only 4.7GW in operation. 

Policy activity

India has provided significant policy support in recent years, classifying hydropower above 25MW renewable, creating a Renewable Purchase Obligation and Energy Storage Obligation, a waiver of inter-state transmission charges for electricity from solar and wind for use by PSH projects, and budgetary support for the cost of enabling infrastructure. 

Development pipeline

Numerous states have made announcements in 2023 and ~10% of hydropower potential is under construction. Many large-scale projects were announced in 2023–24 or reached an MOU stage including 2GW in Odisha, 7.35GW in Maharashtra, 11.2GW potential in Madhya Pradesh and 13GW in Arunachal Pradesh.

Russia

Russia

Unexploited potential

Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister noted that only 20% of the country’s hydropower potential has been developed. 

Policy activity

The Deputy Energy Minister highlighted that there is little privately developed hydropower, so the state will likely need to provide support, as the market does not compensate for investment costs and there needs to be better consideration of longer payback periods. 

Development pipeline

Russia’s current plan for hydropower development includes 6.5GW to be completed by 2035 and a total of 11.5GW new hydropower (including PSH) by 2042.

Pakistan

Pakistan

Unexploited potential

Caretaker Minister for Power Muhammad Ali stated that Pakistan has a potential for 64GW from hydropower, however only 11GW have been commissioned so far.

Policy activity

Pakistan has called the 2020s the Decade of Dams, with an ambition to add 10GW by 2030. However, despite utilising Green Euro Bonds to finance two large-scale projects, financing is considered an issue. 

Development pipeline

The Tarbela 5th Extension hydropower project is expected to be completed in 2025 and increase the capacity of Tarbela from 4,888MW to 6,418MW. Other major projects in the pipeline include Dasu (4,320MW) expected online in 2026; Mohmand (800MW) in 2026; and Diamer-Bhasha (4.5GW) due for completion in 2028. 

Tajikistan 

Tajikistan 

Unexploited potential

Tajikistan has an immense hydropower generation potential of 527TWh, with only 4% of its potential currently exploited.

Policy activity

A US$15m World Bank loan is intended to create sounder governance, financial and macro-fiscal framework and contribute to the socio-economic development of Tajikistan, which may see new support mechanisms considered.

Development pipeline

Numerous IFIs have announced financial support for the 3.78GW Rogun hydropower project. In addition to the major hydropower projects in the pipeline, Minister Daler Juma announced a plan to produce 500,000 tons of green hydrogen by 2030 and to double that by 2040. 

Kyrgzystan 

Kyrgzystan 

Unexploited potential

Kyrgzstan has an estimated hydropower generation potential of 140–170TWh, but only about 30% is being utilised. 

Policy activity

Limited renewable energy targets have been put in place. Kyrgzstan has indicated it will construct new hydropower plants to support its NDC targets as well as diversifying its renewable energy sources. 

Development pipeline

In early 2024, the World Bank discussed financing several hydropower projects in Kyrgyzstan, including the 1.86GW Kambarata 1, which will have a 5.4 billion m3 reservoir volume, generating 5.6TWh. Additional small-scale cascade projects on the Naryn River are planned, which could lead to 237MW and 439MW if completed. 

China 

China 

Unexploited potential

China has led the way globally in the large-scale development of its hydropower potential, but the country’s on-river hydropower capacity is now nearing saturation.

Policy activity

China has heavily incentivised hydropower development in its new net zero by 2050 policy. The latest national policy outlines a target to reach up to 80GW of PSH by 2027.

Development pipeline

There are a significant number of projects in the pipeline for both conventional hydropower and PSH.

Vietnam

Vietnam

Unexploited potential

Most of the known hydropower potential in Vietnam remains untapped.

Policy activity

Vietnam is quiet on the policy developments needed to unlock its remaining potential.

Development pipeline

The development of conventional hydropower capacity has seen a significant slowdown in recent years.

Australia

Australia

Unexploited potential

Australia has tapped a small proportion of its hydropower potential to date.

Policy activity

Australia recognises hydropower in its net zero policy wording but has not yet maximised the opportunities to promote new investment in the sector.

Development pipeline

Australia has a small number of PSH projects in the pipeline, but no new conventional hydropower currently.

Case study: Vogelgrun hydropower plant

The Vogelgrun HPP, managed by EDF, is located on the Rhine River and it has been the target of a pilot study on BESS hybridisation under the framework of the EU research project XFLEX HYDRO. The approach taken was to reduce the amount of wear and tear caused by the provision of Frequency Containment Reserve (a grid ancillary service that requires a maximum power response time of 30s), which requires continuous management of the operating point of the 50-year-old Kaplan unit, minimising the battery size to limit the capital investment required.

The installation included an adaptation of the Smart Power Plant Supervisor designed to optimise the state of charge of battery and support the turbine in the provision of a Frequency Containment Reserve.

Battery storage hybridisation of existing hydropower plants is a technology that has seen some interesting developments in Europe over the last few years. The first cases identified by IHA date back to 2018-19. Since then, several additional installations were commissioned in numerous European sites. Despite the relatively small size of the battery installed at Vogelgrun, initial results have demonstrated that thanks to the battery systems, the power response of the plant was enhanced. Additionally, the mileage of critical components (the Runner Blade Bearing) was substantially reduced, indicating between 40 per cent and 50 per cent movement reduction of the Runner Blade Bearing. This has an associated reduction of wear and tear of circa 55 per cent with an expected life span extension of circa 50 years.

Follow xflexhydro.com to find out more about the XFLEX Hydro project

Interesting fact

Battery storage hybridisation of existing hydropower plants is a technology that has seen some interesting developments in Europe over the last few years. The first cases identified by IHA date back to 2018-19. Since then, several additional installations were commissioned in numerous European sites.

Despite the relatively small size of the battery installed at Vogelgrun, initial results have demonstrated that thanks to the battery systems, the power response of the plant was enhanced. Additionally, the mileage of critical components (the Runner Blade Bearing) was substantially reduced, indicating between 40 per cent and 50 per cent movement reduction of the Runner Blade Bearing. This has an associated reduction of wear and tear of circa 55 per cent with an expected life span extension of circa 50 years.

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