Global Energy Monitor


Global Energy Monitor’s Global Hydropower Tracker uses a two-level system for organizing information, consisting of both a database and wiki pages with further information. The database tracks hydropower plants and includes information such as project owner, operator, status, number of turbines, technology type, and location. A wiki page for each project is created within the Global Energy Monitor wiki. The database and wiki pages are updated annually.

Status Categories

Announced: Proposed projects that have been described in corporate or government plans but have not yet taken concrete steps such as applying for permits.

Pre-construction: Projects that are actively moving forward in seeking governmental approvals, land rights, or financing.

Construction: Site preparation and equipment installation are underway.

Operating: The project has been formally commissioned; commercial operation has begun.

Shelved: Suspension of operation has been announced, or no progress has been observed for at least two years.

Cancelled: A cancellation announcement has been made, or no progress has been observed for at least four years.

Mothballed: The project is disused, but not dismantled.

Retired: The project has been decommissioned.

Technology Types

Conventional Storage: Projects which typically or entirely generate electricity from water stored in a reservoir.

Pumped Storage: Projects which generate electricity using water which is cycled between a lower and an upper reservoir by a pumping system.

Run-Of-River: Projects which typically or entirely generate electricity from flowing water with little to no storage capacity.

Unknown: Technology type not specified.

Conventional and Pumped Storage: Projects which have both conventional storage and pumped storage capability.

Conventional and Run-Of-River: Projects which have both conventional storage and run-of-river capability.

Research Process

The Global Hydropower Tracker data set draws on various public data sources, including:

  • Industry data on hydropower facilities 
  • Government websites tracking active power plants and project permits and applications
  • Reports by power companies (both state-owned and private)
  • News and media reports
  • Non-governmental organizations, such as Landesa, tracking hydropower projects or permits

A list of major data sources can be found here.

Global Energy Monitor researchers perform data validation by comparing GEM’s dataset against proprietary and public data such as S&P Global’s World Electric Power Plant Database (WEPP) and the World Resource Institute’s Global Power Plant Database, as well as various company and government sources.

Wiki Pages

For each hydropower project, a wiki page is created on Global Energy Monitor’s wiki. Under standard wiki convention, all information is linked to a publicly-accessible published reference, such as a news article, company or government report, or a regulatory permit. In order to ensure data integrity in the open-access wiki environment, Global Energy Monitor researchers review all edits of project wiki pages.


To allow easy public access to the results, Global Energy Monitor worked with Earth Genome to develop a map-based and table-based interface. In the case of exact coordinates, locations have been visually determined using Google Maps, Google Earth, Wikimapia, or OpenStreetMap. Exact locations for proposed projects, if available, are obtained from sources such as permit applications, other government documentation, or company reports. If the location of a hydropower project or proposal is not known, Global Energy Monitor identifies the most accurate location possible based on available information.

Global Hydropower Tracker Release Notes

April 2024

Global Energy Monitor releases the first update to the Global Hydropower Tracker.

  • All global regions were included within the scope of research for this data release. All prospective facilities, as well as any for which there was an indication of changed status, were researched for updates.
  • Any facilities previously listed with the “inactive” status category were expanded to specify the status as either cancelled, mothballed, or retired. This change was made to increase clarity for dataset users, as well as to harmonize the Global Hydropower Tracker with other power generation trackers at Global Energy Monitor.
  • The names for principal administrative divisions of China have been updated to correspond with ISO 3166-2 standards. Specifically, the changes were: “Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region” to “Guangxi”, “Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region” to “Inner Mongolia”, “Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region” to “Ningxia”, “Tibet Autonomous Region” to “Tibet”, and “Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region” to “Xinjiang”.

May 2023

Global Energy Monitor releases the first version of the Global Hydropower Tracker.

  • All global regions have been researched for this data release.
  • The Global Hydropower Tracker, consistent with recent changes across all of Global Energy Monitor’s trackers, uses the following naming conventions: Regions and subregions are defined according to United Nations definitions. The country name “Türkiye” is used in place of “Turkey.”