Breaking down the barriers to hydropower development: Streamlining licensing and permitting

Nusa Dua 1-4
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
15:30 – 16:45 WITA


Development of hydropower projects typically takes 10-15 years from announcement to commercial operation. But with the need to take urgent action on climate change, is there a way to make this process more efficient? This session will look at global and local initiatives, such as the work of the Planning for Climate Commission, to accelerate the realisation of hydropower and other renewable energy projects, including streamlining the permitting process.

To keep global warming to below 1.5°C, at least 2,500 GW of hydropower capacity is needed, according to modelling by the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency. This is around twice today’s installed capacity. 

Building this amount will require approval by governments and buy-in from communities. However, in many countries and jurisdictions, the approval and permitting process is very lengthy. With the urgency of the climate crisis, can we afford to wait?


  • Malcolm Turnbull, President of IHA and former Prime Minister of Australia (Moderator)
  • Erik Solheim, Board Member, IHA Board
  • Jonas Moberg, Chief Executive Officer, Green Hydrogen Organisation
  • Ashok Khosla, Chair, HSAC
  • Brian Selby, Hydropower APAC Leader, GE Hydro
  • Gloria Magombo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Government of Zimbabwe
  • Li Baosen, Deputy Secretary General, GEIDCO

Session objectives

  • Examine traditional timelines for hydropower project development and permitting 
  • Explore new, innovative and efficient approaches
  • Gain insight into how to ensure both speed and buy-in from communities, without compromising environmental safeguards


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