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Research and innovation


Why the EU supports hydropower research and innovation

Hydropower is energy derived from falling or fast running water.

Hydro reservoirs provide built-in energy storage and the fast response time of hydropower allows it to meet sudden fluctuations in supply or demand of other renewable sources (for example solar and wind power).

This means that hydropower can have an increasingly important role in providing flexibility to the electricity system.

Challenges and opportunities

In a changing power system, continuous innovation is needed to keep sustainable hydropower efficient and cost-competitive, including retrofitting measures for existing plants to improve their efficiency and environmental performance.

Solutions to exploit energy production from small reservoirs or hydro plants that can generate power from small differences in the water level (not requiring massive dams to be built) are very promising.

What the EU is doing

The EU supports hydropower research by funding projects that demonstrate the potential of the technology and aim to reduce its environmental impact.

In particular, innovation will support the efficient retrofitting of existing plants and help improve the sustainability of hydropower.

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

Calls for proposal on energy related themes in Horizon Europe and information on the work programme.

NER 300 programme

Funding for innovative low-carbon technology research with focus on environmentally safe Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy technologies


The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

Projects and results

Horizon Magazine

Latest news, interviews and features about thought-provoking science and innovative research projects funded by the EU.

Horizon Results Platform

Platform where framework programme participants present their results for you to search, contact their owners, and form partnerships.

Horizon dashboard

Access to real-time programme data with the ability to filter by country, region, theme and more

Collaboration and jobs

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Scientific publications

Scientific energy research publications published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)

EU Open Data Portal

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions - all data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes


You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE