2021
  • Non-ICIMOD publication

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The role of hydropower in South Asia’s energy future

  • Ramesh Ananda Vaidya
  • David James Molden
  • Arun Bhakta Shrestha
  • Nisha Wagle
  • Summary

With rising energy demand in Asia, the high potential for hydropower development and the need for low-carbon energy development, hydropower would seem to have a significant role in South Asia’s energy future. However, the extent of hydropower development will depend on several risk factors, including the cost of alternative energy sources, the environmental sustainability of hydropower and social issues of equitable development. Using a risk-analysis framework, it is concluded that the future of hydropower will depend on how well policies and institutions manage the risks, facilitate efficient financial markets, and promote fair and friendly cross-border electricity trade.