Access to modern energy services is a prerequisite for alleviating poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Despite progress in recent years, more than 789 million people still live without access to electricity. When developed in a sustainable manner, hydropower is an important renewable resource that can deliver energy at affordable and competitive prices while helping countries meet climate change targets. In addition to stimulating the growth of new industries, business, and jobs, hydropower can reduce the need for coal-fired plants, avoiding pollution and associated health impacts on local communities contributing to a decarbonized industrial economy.
With 1.3 billion people still lacking access to reliable and modern energy services, the increased role of hydropower is key to achieving SDG 7: to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
Given hydropower’s potential to provide multiple services – including freshwater management, climate mitigation, climate adaptation services, ecosystem services, firm energy, energy storage, and other ancillary services —hydropower can contribute to other SDGs as well, including those for water (SDG 6), resilient infrastructure (SDG 9), and climate change (SDG 13).