Innovative technologies related to small scale hydropower 

Objective of this Task

The purpose of this sub-task was to collect and disseminate practical information for the development of new hydropower plants and the upgrade of existing facilities. Recent innovative hydropower installations and equipment were surveyed and evaluated based on their capability to expand the potential for small hydropower development, improve the equipment efficiency and to ensure conservation and protection of the environment.

Download the Summary Report. (IEA Hydro, October 2010)

Survey of Innovative Technologies

Technologies were identified by conducting a literature review of international publications and conferences (Hydro, Hydroenergia, HydroVisionWaterpower etc.) and based on the recommendations of Annex-2 members at that time. (Canada, Norway, and Japan). 

These technologies were selected and categorized based on the key categories identified in Table-1. The technologies were described according to the following aspects: (1) Technological Classification (2) Technical Characteristics (3) Scope of Applicability (4) Results of Application. See the Summary Report for details.

Collection and Evaluation of Innovative Technologies

Those technologies selected as innovative were not necessarily new. The selected innovative technologies were classified by key category and evaluated for their applicability with regard to the following;

  • Contribution to Cost Reduction    
  • Improvement of Efficiency
  • Improvement of Reliability
  • Enlargement of Applicability
  • Support to Operation and Maintenance
  • Mitigation of Environmental Impact




The technologies and their evaluation are summarized and documented in a simple and easy-to-search downloadable Excel data sheet format. See the full list below. 

Disclaimer: IEA Hydro accpets no responsibility for its application. provides this information for your 

Future contributions

In this sub-task, we were able to collect information on 31 valuable innovative technologies that overcame identified challenges for new development or the renewal of existing small hydropower facilities. However, it is clear that further innovation in all areas of technology development will be required. 

We encourage ongoing contributions to this data base. Please contact the IEA Hydro Secretary if you wish to make a submission. 

Disclaimer:  Please note that IEAHydro provides the following information for information purposes only. IEA Hydro makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about, and expressly disclaims liability for, the  application of the technologies described.

Small Hydro Innovative Technologies