What role(s) can hydropower play in a nation's energy strategy?

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Key Question Categor(ies):Hydropower - Dams - Infrastructure

Case Studies that Answer this Question:

From: Integrated Joint Management Agreements of Mekong River Basin Riparians
Emphasizing data collection in advance of any construction projects, one both sets the hydrographic stage for more efficient planning, and also may establish a pattern of cooperation through relatively emotion-free issues. The insistence of the Wheeler Mission that extensive data-gathering precede any construction made both management and political sense.

From: U.S.-Canada Transboundary Water Management
As in the Columbia River Treaty, hydropower can be a form of added value in addition to other benefits like flood control and drought protection, enabling payments and exchange to occur between countries which may facilitate or fund the construction of projects that might otherwise not be feasible. As recent controversy over the treaty indicates, it is best to consider the effects of engineering projects of the scale of hydroelectric dams on a multitude of stakeholders, because of their far-reaching ecological and hydrological impacts. Hydropower is a powerful tool for a nation’s energy strategy, but one that must be used prudently and with attention to impacts on “outsider” groups like endangered species and indigenous people.

From: Yarlung Zangbo / Brahmaputra River: Competing Priorities of Hydropower and Agriculture
It can help a country supply “clean” energy without additional carbon emissions, which is particularly relevant in the case of China.