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Finance and preparation

To meet global climate and sustainability goals, a major effort is needed to mobilise public and private sector investment in renewable technologies such as hydropower.

While a mature technology, securing favourable financing arrangements for hydropower development can be a challenging task, which needs to be specifically tailored for each project.

Developers are often faced with high upfront costs, rigorous and complex project preparation, environmental and social considerations, and services which are not adequately remunerated.

Our action

IHA is working across several fronts together with developers, investors, international financial institutions and NGOs to help mitigate the economic risks of hydropower development and unlock greater investment.

Through the promotion of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and as part of the Climate Bond Initiative’s technical working group, we have contributed to the development of proposed hydropower eligibility criteria for climate financing for the growing green bond market.

We are also collaborating with international partners on the role of project preparation facilities and the policy and market changes needed to fully reflect hydropower’s contribution to evolving electricity systems.

In 2019, a new IHA study on project ownership study offered insights on the level of private sector involvement in hydropower. The study also analysed how a project’s size impacts its ownership model and the role of foreign direct investment.


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Latest associated content

  • Elsbeth Tronstad

    Interview: Elsbeth Tronstad, SN Power

    Elsbeth Tronstad is executive vice president of SN Power for corporate social responsibility, environment, communications and human resources. She speaks about the business case for sustainability in hydroelectric projects, and the importance for companies to get it right.

    Blog post
    5 May 2014
  • Conawapa station, Canada

    Canada and the USA benefit from interconnections

    In February 2014, Canadian utility Manitoba Hydro announced a memorandum of understanding with US power co-operative Great River Energy to jointly investigate the sale of up to 600 MW of electricity from new hydropower projects.

    Blog post
    2 May 2014
  • Climate finance

    A new era of climate finance

    Philipp Hauser is vice president carbon markets at GDF Suez Energy Latin America.

    Blog post
    4 April 2014
  • Benefits of hydropower

    Do the benefits of sustainable hydropower outweigh the costs?

    A recent report from researchers at Oxford University questions the economic viability of large-scale hydropower development, highlighting cost and schedule overruns.

    Blog post
    13 March 2014
  • Renewing collaboration in China

    The China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) and IHA extended their collaboration by renewing their co-operation agreement last week, 26 February.

    News post
    4 March 2014


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