June 12, 2024
2024 World Hydropower Outlook
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The World Hydropower Outlook, a flagship annual publication by IHA, tracks and directs the progress of hydropower development globally against net zero pathways. Drawing upon exclusive new development insights from IHA’s global database, it features in-depth analysis of hydropower’s growth trajectory. The report highlights policy and financial investment challenges and examples of good progress.

  • Global hydropower fleet grows to 1,412GW in 2023 but five-year rolling average shows downward trend
  • A growth rate of just over 26GW per year from now to 2030 is needed to stay on track with net zero targets
  • Hydropower is the largest single source of renewable energy, with pumped storage hydropower providing more than 90% of all stored energy in the world
  • It is estimated that around double the amount of hydropower that is currently installed is needed for net zero scenarios by 2050
  • To double hydropower capacity by 2050, a cumulative investment of approximately US$3.7tn is required, or about US$130bn annually. This equates to more than double the current level of funding
  • IHA’s assessment of the “big 100” pipeline of projects under development indicates that this acceleration is within reach for the early years of the next decade, but more action is needed over the longer term.
  • Hydropower is among the best ways to mitigate for droughts. IHA estimates that through the water storage function of its reservoirs, the hydropower industry prevents over US$130bn in annual GDP losses from drought incidents

May 15, 2024
Abuja Action Plan on Sustainable Hydropower Development in Africa
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At the HydroPOWER Africa week in Abuja, Nigeria the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, addressed attendees at a high-level roundtable on the back of the launch of the Africa section of the 2024 World Hydropower Outlook. He and focused on capturing the potential for hydropower for Africa’s clean energy transition.

Chief Adebayo Adelabu said, "Blended finance solutions can unlock investment opportunities for hydropower in Africa’

‘To move fast, you move alone, but to move far you have to move together. We won't harness our human resources if they aren't energised by our natural resources. We need foreign investments and can provide a guaranteed return. Let’s turn our hydropower potential into reality for all Africans.’

Download the Abuja Action Plan on Sustainable Hydropower Development in Africa in your preferred language:



March 12, 2024
Energy Security through pumped storage hydropower - letter from Malcolm Turnbull to Hon Rishi Sunak
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A open letter from Malcolm Turnbull, former Australian Prime Minister and now IHA President to the UK Prime Minister about the potential to improve UK energy security and ensure a reliable and affordable decarbonised electricity grid. Rapid deployment of the cap and floor mechanism for long duration electricity storage should lead to the development of much needed new pumped storage hydropower capacity in the UK.

March 1, 2024
Recommendations towards industrial deployment of hydropower flexibility technologies
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Asset Management, Markets and Finance, Clean Energy

Integrating large quantities of intermittent solar and wind energy at an accelerated pace will present a formidable challenge to the power grid. Our energy system will have to become more flexible, and policy-makers will have to ensure that the energy transition does not create disruptions. XFLEX HYDRO, and the demonstration that hydropower can provide additional flexibility is a building block towards this goal.

XFLEX HYDRO is a European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation project with the objective to show hydropower’s technical and strategic role in demonstrating how renewable-based generation can be achieved in a secure and reliable manner. Thanks to this project, the sector has gained a better understanding of the flexibility that the existing EU hydropower fleet can provide to the electrical system, and demonstrated how, using a set of innovative technologies, this flexibility potential can be optimised and enhanced.

These innovative hydroelectric technological solutions are the following:

  • Variable speed units;
  • Hydraulic short circuit;
  • Hybridisation with a battery energy storage system; and
  • Smart Power Plant Supervisor (real-time optimisation methodology)

The project puts hydropower at the forefront of innovation, strengthening the industry’s know-how, improving its technology export potential, and facilitating job creation. This document is designed to speak to a wide range of stakeholders and its content is laid out in a manner so that the relevant information is clear, accessible, and actionable by the reader. The technical part of this report provides the key takeaways from the project and enables plant owners and energy experts to identify opportunities to introduce some of the findings in their plants.

This set of conclusions can be found in Section 4, where the four technologies relevant to the European hydropower fleet are discussed (presented individually, as well as in six possible upgrade strategies). To facilitate the identification of the relevant combination of technologies, these upgrade strategies are classified under the three categories of hydropower plants: reservoir storage plants (RSP), pumped storage plants (PSP) and run of river plants (RoR).

Despite the remarkable results achieved by the project and the technical benefits associated with the deployment of these innovative technologies, several barriers are currently limiting their wider adoption in the European context. The flexibility provision of the hydropower fleet will only be entirely optimised and utilised if dedicated energy policies are put in place, aimed at securing the availability of indigenous flexibility solutions over the next decades.

Through the dialogue carried out within the consortium’s partners and external energy experts, seven key recommendations have emerged:

  • Recognise and value hydro flexibility as an essential service to the power system to achieve a successful energy transition. As power systems are progressively losing the flexibility provided by non-renewable conventional energy sources, recognising, and valuing the growing necessity for flexibility services is crucial to ensure grid stability and security of supply over the next decades.
  • Remove regulatory barriers for unrestricted implementation and operation of hydro flexibility technologies. To unlock the full potential of existing hydro assets and introduce new technologies, it is essential to eliminate regulatory barriers that limit the adoption of flexibility upgrades or that create discrepancy in the procurement process of flexibility services. For example, in certain countries operating in hydraulic short circuit mode is currently not allowed.
  • Provide remuneration mechanisms enabling investment in flexibility. Existing electricity and ancillary services markets (when available) excel in ensuring that the service required is provided at minimal cost to consumers, but their short-term nature does not provide the long-term revenue visibility required to justify new investment in flexibility technology upgrades.
  • Facilitate cross-border collaboration for efficient exchange of flexibility services. Encouraging international collaboration among European countries is essential for the efficient exchange of hydro flexibility services and expertise. By fostering cross-border connections, countries can share resources and expertise, optimising the utilisation of hydro flexibility on a broader scale.
  • Streamline licensing renewals for optimised hydropower operations. Simplifying the licensing process and accelerating permitting procedures are vital for the operational stability of hydropower projects. This not only reduces uncertainties linked to licence renewals and ownership transfers but also provides a clear and predictable framework in which power companies can operate.
  • Conduct system-level analysis to anticipate and address future flexibility needs. To effectively address future challenges and make sure that electric power systems can deliver a safe energy transition, system-level analyses are essential. These can provide the long-term vision needed to identify and prepare for future flexibility challenges in the most technically efficient, secure, and cost-effective way.
  • Promote support mechanisms for the modernisation of ageing hydropower infrastructure. Financial or tax mechanisms that support the modernisation of ageing infrastructure are essential to secure and enhance the benefits currently provided to society by these plants. These mechanisms should be focused on rewarding modernisation projects that are introducing cutting edge technologies and leading in the adoption of cleaner and more flexible energy solutions.
November 2, 2023
Bali Statement on Powering Sustainable Growth
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East Asia and Pacific
Climate Change

Download the Bali Statement on Powering Sustainable Growth in your preferred language:







May 15, 2024
Annual Report 2023/24
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2023 was a momentous year for the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and its efforts to advance sustainable hydropower’s role in the energy transition. As Roger Gill handed the IHA Presidential reins to Malcolm Turnbull, this was a year that included the inaugural World Hydropower Outlook, the launch of the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance, the largest in-person World Hydropower Congress to date, and its representation at the Renewables Hub at COP28 (as part of the Global Renewables Alliance). There have been significant strides in lifting the voice of sustainable hydropower globally, along with the 20 new members that joined IHA this year, we need to continue to increase this voice and see more policy change and investment to meet net zero by 2050.   


  • Foreword  
  • IHA 2022-27 Strategy 
  • Delivering a values-based membership model  
  • 2023 year in review 

November 2, 2023
Declaração de Bali sobre a Potencialização do Crescimento Sustentável
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November 2, 2023
Pernyataan Bali terkait Dukungan terhadap Pertumbuhan yang Berkelanjutan
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November 2, 2023
Déclaration de Bali sur la promotion d’une croissance durable
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November 2, 2023
Declaración de Bali sobre el impulso del crecimiento sostenible
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November 2, 2023
关于推动可持续增长的 巴厘岛声明
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November 2, 2023
Балийское заявление об энергетике для устойчивого роста
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June 21, 2023
The First Global Stocktake International Hydropower Association Submission
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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) respectfully submits the following text to the First Global Stocktake process of the UNFCCC.

The Key Messages we bring to Parties’ attention are as follows:

1. Hydropower needs to double by 2050 if we are to meet climate goals

To keep global warming to below 1.5°C, at least 2,500 GW of hydropower capacity is needed, according to modelling done by the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency. This is around twice today’s installed capacity.

Today, hydropower is the largest source of low carbon electricity, and third largest overall, providing more than 15% of the world’s electricity. Through the flexibility and storage services it provides, hydropower plays a key role integrating and accelerating growth in variable renewables such as solar and wind, as well as strengthening overall system resilience. Indeed, according to the IEA and IRENA models, by 2050 hydropower will be the single largest source of flexible electricity generation. Therefore, if we want the most from wind and solar, we need to also increase hydropower.

2. The world is not on track to meet this goal

Hydropower is not developing fast enough to meet these global targets. There needs to be a step change in the amount of global installed capacity of sustainable hydropower by 2050 in order to support the clean energy transition away from fossil fuels and to tackle climate change.

Hydropower should be growing at an average pace of around 46 GW per year, the equivalent of the combined capacity of Norway and Mexico. The current rate of development is well below these levels. Between 2016 and 2021, hydropower grew at an average rate of 22 GW/year, half the required rate and well below the record 47GW commission in 2012. In 2022, 30 GW were added to the mix which is a slight improvement over the previous five years, but still well below what is required.

3. Going forward, the only acceptable hydropower is sustainable hydropower

There is no excuse for unsustainable hydropower projects to go ahead. Hydropower developers and operators should demonstrate their commitment to sustainable hydropower in a way that is clear, transparent and verifiable. The preparation, implementation and operation of hydropower should be delivered in accordance with international good practice as defined by the Hydropower Sustainability Standard.

4. What needs to change for the world to be on track?

Policy recommendations from the IHA:

  • Plan for a low carbon future now. Hydropower takes 10-15 years to develop. This includes assessing storage and flexibility needs for the future grid, identifying potential sites and undertaking feasibility studies.
  • Establish financial mechanisms that reward flexibility and stability and give investors predictability. Subsidies, grants and capacity markets are some of the mechanisms able to achieve this.
  • Streamline license and permitting processes. Currently, too many projects are unable to progress due to extensive delays, which slows down the deployment of essential infrastructure that is vital for tackling climate change.
  • Embed the Hydropower Sustainability Standard into processes and regulations.
  • Incorporate climate resilience into the planning and operation of hydropower projects by using the IHA’s Climate Resilience Guide.
  • Make the most of existing infrastructure. Facilitate modernisation and retrofitting of ageing hydropower plants and incorporate increases in generation capacity through refurbishment projects. Fitting turbines to non-powered dams or adding floating solar to existing reservoirs are other methods of using existing infrastructure, offering low impact added capacity.

Read the rest of the submission by downloading it from the link above.

Click here to view the poster

June 7, 2023
2023 World Hydropower Outlook
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Read by world leaders, high-level experts and decision makers, the inaugural 2023 Outlook sets out a realistic roadmap to enable hydropower and other renewables to deliver against net zero targets.

His Excellency President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia and Malcolm Turnbull, Former Prime Minister and IHA President

Inside you will find key highlights:

  • At 34 GW, 2022 marks the first time since 2016 that more than 30 GW of hydropower came online, including 10 GW of pumped storage (PSH).
  • Hydropower currently provides over 15% of the world's electricity.
  • Current pipeline shows 590 GW of hydropower projects at various stages of development, including 214 GW of PSH.
  • To continue momentum and reduce the 700 GW gap between pipeline and net zero pathways, governments must work collaboratively to boost investment, streamline licensing and introduce sustainable practice regulations.


April 24, 2023
IHA Annual Report 2022-23
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IHA’s 2022-2023 Annual Report: Momentum grows to ensure all new hydropower is sustainable hydropower.

2022 saw a momentous year for IHA including the launches of the Planning for Climate Commission, the Global Renewables Alliance at COP27, the defining of our five-year strategy and the bedding in of a new values-based membership model. 2023 has begun well with the first certification under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard. These have set the foundations for a successful 2023 which will culminate in the World Hydropower Congress in Bali in October.


  • Foreword by Roger Gill and Eddie Rich
  • Five year strategy to 2027 
  • Delivering a values-based membership model 
  • The membership year in numbers 
  • Sustainable hydropower: the only hydropower 
  • Governance and finance

July 5, 2022
2022 Hydropower Status Report
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Now in its ninth edition, the 2022 Hydropower Status Report is published at a key moment in the clean energy transition.

The 2022 Hydropower Status Report finds that:

  • Global installed hydropower capacity rose by 26 GW to 1360 GW in 2021
  • 4,250 TWh of clean electricity was generated from hydropower, 1 and a half times the entire electricity consumption of the EU
  • Around 80% of new hydropower capacity installed in 2021 was in a single country – China
  • 4.7 GW of pumped storage hydropower was added to the grid, triple the amount added in 2020.

However, the report finds that this growth is not enough to reach net zero targets.

Read more.

March 16, 2022
IHA Annual Report 2021-22
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IHA’s 2021-2022 Annual Report chronicles key achievements from a landmark year

2021 has been a decisive year for IHA with the first ever virtual World Hydropower Congress, the launch of a landmark declaration on sustainable hydropower and the first sustainability standard in the renewables sector.

The report details these achievements as the organisation moves to a values-based model of membership and spearheads a global communications campaign to spotlight hydropower's role in the clean energy transition.


-         Foreword by Roger Gill and Eddie Rich

-         A membership model that builds trust

-         Highlights from 2021

-         IHA priorities and programmes

-         Advocacy and communications

-         World Hydropower Congress

-         Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower

-         Hydropower Sustainability Standard

-         Governance and finance

December 20, 2021
How-to Guide on Hydropower and Indigenous Peoples
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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has published a new How-to Guide on Hydropower and Indigenous Peoples to help developers and operators to engage with Indigenous Communities in hydropower development.

The guide provides guidance on working with Indigenous Peoples, achieving international good practice when planning and delivering a hydropower project, and obtaining consent for development.

Read the press release.

Learn more about Indigenous Peoples and explore case studies.

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