Climate change and hydropower

Energy is one of the major drivers of change in the HKH. The region has high hydropower potential, but the changing climate and likely changes in the hydrological regime may pose a risk to future hydropower development. The changing probabilities and magnitudes of extreme events can place an additional risk on power generation infrastructure (dams and hydropower plants) as well as secondary infrastructure (roads and transmission lines). Further, hazards associated with shrinking glaciers, such as glacial lake outburst floods, can jeopardize large infrastructure investment. It has become imperative for hydropower developers to have a good understanding of the changes in the hydrological cycle and its uncertainty. In 2015, ICIMOD, with support from Statkraft and in collaboration with FutureWater, conducted a detailed review of the state of knowledge regarding climate change in the HKH and its connections to changes in the cryosphere and hydrology, with a specific focus on the implications for hydropower development.  In 2016, ICIMOD, with partners, conducted a detailed study on hydrological and climate change assessment for hydropower development in the Tamakoshi River Basin, Nepal

For more information, contact
Arun Bhakta Shrestha
Regional Programme Manager, River Basins