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Preparation facilities

The challenge

Investment in hydropower will help the world meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including a target to deliver ‘sustainable energy for all’ by the year 2030.

A significant barrier to private sector investment in hydropower is the financial risk associated with rigorous and complex planning and assessments, with no certainty for investors that a project will be given permission to proceed.

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Meanwhile national governments want to ensure that hydropower fits well with local, national and regional strategies, and adheres to international good practice in sustainability.

A new model for project development focused specifically on hydropower is needed to assist governments and investors in selecting and preparing potential sites, which will support the growth of renewable energy at speed and scale.


Our strategy and action

IHA is promoting the establishment of a hydropower project preparation facility.

We are in close dialogue with a number of governments, developers, financial institutions and NGOs to bring forward the concept, which was proposed at the World Hydropower Congress in Ethiopia in May 2017.

The Hydropower Preparation Facility model could help investors, developers and governments get new projects off the ground, by ensuring that each one is selected according to recognised sustainability criteria and national and regional development needs.

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Under the model, a project ‘blueprint’ would be created by the facility and then auctioned off. The successful developer would repay the preparation costs only at the point of commissioning. The facility itself would be resourced through donor contributions and funds raised via the auctioning process.

Throughout 2018, working with partners including Sustainable Energy for All, we will continue to build support for this concept and explore whether hydropower preparation facilities could be established in different regions around the world.


Recent activities

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In May 2017, during a plenary session at the World Hydropower Congress in Ethiopia, the concept of the Hydropower Preparation Facility was proposed and received support from stakeholders across government, financial institutions and industry.

In November 2017, we signed a significant partnership agreement with Sustainable Energy for All at the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany. The agreement will see the two organisations jointly explore how a Hydropower Preparation Facility model can be brought forward and financed.

Throughout 2017, we participated in a number of events to advance the concept of the preparation facility including:

  • The Asian Clean Energy Summit in Manila, Philippines.
  • African Union Specialised Technical Committee in Lomé, Togo.


Join the network

Members interested in contributing to the Hydropower Preparation Facility concept development can join our Finance and Investment Knowledge Network

Hydropower Pro

IHA members can access the knowledge network in Hydropower Pro, our online member community.

In the online group, network members can connect with each other, exchange experiences and access essential resources, briefings and case studies.

For any questions, please contact IHA senior analyst Nick Troja at


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