Harnessing hydropower: Literature review

How might climate change and other factors affect hydropower performance in developing countries?


How is the performance of hydropower schemes measured?

How might climate change and other factors affect hydropower performance in developing countries?

The objective of this literature review was to detail how factors affecting the performance of hydropower schemes may be influenced by climate change and interactions with the complex built, natural and social systems providing water, energy and food security. The literature review sets hydropower within the global context of renewable energy resources and discusses different types of hydropower schemes (storage, run-of-river, and pumped-storage). Different measures for assessing performance are identified and factors affecting these performance measures discussed, including climate change. The literature review describes the importance of identifying trade-offs and synergies when deciding how to balance investments in water, energy and food security and outlines the criteria used to select the three case studies in Africa and Asia (Malawi, Nepal and India) that were carried out to gather supporting evidence as part of the Harnessing Hydropower study.

The target audience for this work is Department for International Development (DFID) staff together with other development professionals and government officials interested in the performance and development of the hydropower sector in developing countries and the trade-offs between water, energy and food security in the context of climate change.

This report has been produced for Evidence on Demand by HR Wallingford with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited. It was produced for DFID’s Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme.


Lumbroso, D.; Hurford, A.; Winpenny, J.; Wade, S. Harnessing hydropower: Literature review. Evidence on Demand, UK (2014) x + 89 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.august2014.lumbrosoetal1]

Harnessing hydropower: Literature review

Published 1 January 2014