Collaborative Framework on Hydropower

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Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy worldwide, and its development is considered essential in driving the energy transition forward. The Collaborative Framework on Hydropower was established as a response to an explicit request from Members to expand the Agency’s work on Hydropower. The Framework seeks to advance priority areas, coordinate concrete actions and foster international collaboration on the topic of hydropower.

The Collaborative Framework will serve as an effective vehicle for international dialogue, co-operation and coordinated action among different stakeholders to ensure the continued deployment of hydropower technologies in benefit of the global renewable energy transformation.

The scope of the Collaborative Framework will be addressed in the form of workstreams aiming to:

  • Ensure the continued development of hydropower in a sustainable manner;
  • Explore the relevance of hydropower as flexibility provider and enabler for the integration of high shares of variable renewables (VRE);
  • Foster the development of business models and market structures that can enable adequate remuneration of services and identify the role of hydropower in climate resilience;
  • Advance innovative solutions and operation and maintenance practices.

In previous meetings, Members have agreed on the priority areas of the Collaborative Framework which include: hydropower sustainability; modernisation and refurbishment; flexibility; and policies and market frameworks that appropriately remunerate hydropower.

Members elected Costa Rica and Switzerland as co-facilitators.


The following modalities were discussed and approved by the Members:
  • Participation
    • Meetings of the Collaborative Frameworks will be open-ended to all IRENA Members and States in Accession. Members of the private sector, associations, research communities, IGOs and NGOs, among others, involved in this thematic area of work will also be invited to participate.
  • Facilitators/Co-facilitators
    • The Facilitator/Co-Facilitators will be selected from the Membership, will coordinate the deliberations of the collaborative framework and may serve for a period of one year with the possibility of a one-year extension.
  • Internal working groups
    • The Collaborative Framework may, as needed, form a group(s) of core members to support in-depth discussions on specific topics of interest.
  • Reporting
    • The Facilitator/Co-Facilitators will normally report to one IRENA Council per year, or more as may be necessary, with a view to informing the Membership on advances made in its workplan. Such reports may focus on experience and best practices identified, recommendations on specific thematic areas of work, areas of research, technical reports, etc.
  • High-Level meetings
    • Ministerial/High-Level meetings of the Collaborative Framework may be held, as necessary, in the context of the work of the Assembly, or annually preceding or post Assembly, as mandated by and in the context of the work of the Assembly.