In Our Image: Norway's Role in the Global Hydropower Industry

After a downturn during the 1990s, global investments in hydropower infrastructure have begun to rise. Governments and financiers have strongly pushed for hydropower to play a central role in “green growth” strategies, claiming that large dams are the best option to achieve sustainable development’s triple bottom line of economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. Norway’s experience in developing its own hydropower sector has turned the country into a protagonist and key driver of the international hydropower industry. Norway has applied many lessons from its own experience to financial, technical, and policy support abroad, to both the public and private sector. Yet, these lessons have not prevented Norwegian investors from becoming embroiled in controversial projects, in Ethiopia, Brazil, Chile, or Malaysia.