By Judith Plummer Braeckman and Sanna Markkanen, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

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Sustainably developed hydropower can be cost effective and can offer many additional benefits beyond power generation, such as water storage and flood control. However, these projects are highly capital-intensive and site-specific, take a long time to design and construct, and cause multiple environmental and social concerns. As a result, they are often regarded as risky investments, especially by private sector investors, making it difficult to attract financing for new projects. Yet hydropower accounts for the largest share of renewable energy generation globally and will, as such, play a key role in facilitating the transition to a zero-carbon economy and improving energy access in low-income countries. It could also support the transition to a greater proportion of intermittent renewables through providing energy storage and grid stability services. This presentation discusses the complexity of hydropower finance in low income countries, the role that the private sector may play and the risks which must be addressed in order to attract more private sector investment to large hydropower projects in low-income countries in the future.

The presentation slides are available on request.

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