A tale of three dams: Sustainable hydropower finance is a video looking at the different options for financing sustainable hydropower projects in low-income countries.  Using examples in Uganda, it discusses three potential financing structures (fully public, public-private-partnership, and new types of bilateral finance), their advantages and disadvantages and how they’ve worked in practice.

Uganda’s experiences of developing large hydropower with various different types of financing can provide examples to other low income countries, where much of the hydropower potential remains underutilised. In addition to providing their energy benefits, sustainably developed hydropower projects can help countries to adapt to changing climate by providing much needed water management services including seasonal water storage.


This video is a MUST VIEW for anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge of the financing and sustainability of hydropower dams. The video is simple, practically explaining the different finance models that can be used and their strengths and weaknesses. It is 11 minutes of essential viewing for anyone wanting to (quickly and painlessly) transform their understanding of the possibility of sustainably financing future dams.

Professor David Hulme

Executive Director, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

Explore more hydropower finance research

More financing dams research

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s is leading  work on understanding the conditions under which global capital flows into the right types of dam infrastructure. They are reviewing the risks and opportunities of financing sustainable infrastructure; identifying best practices that promote the financing of sustainable infrastructure; and understanding how metrics can align financing instruments behind sustainable infrastructure.

Perceptions of risk in relation to large hydropower projects: a finance perspective

Hydropower projects can support sustainable development but they’re often seen as risky so can struggle to get finance. This new framework for identifying, measuring and managing risk for large hydropower projects in low-income countries (LICS) and lower-middle income countries (LMICs), aims to maximise the likelihood of a project obtaining sustainable finance.
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