Large hydropower projects are not often considered in discussions of non-conventional renewable energies. There is no accepted definition of size that small hydropower projects are considered unconventional. Colombian Law 697 of 2001 defines the hydroelectric projects of unconventional resources such as those of 10MW or less.Resolution 084 (1996) of the Energy Regulatory Commission and Gas (CREG) defined as those small power plants with less than 20MW installed capacity. By this definition, the small hydropower does not necessarily mean unconventional.

Units-of-river projects, for example, is sometimes considered unconventional. These units are not deposits and can be developed relatively faster than large water projects.The company ISAGEN SA, carbon finance through the World Bank has begun construction on a plant-river hydropower generating 80MW in the central cordillera of the Andes in the province of Tolima. 

Project is expected to displace the emissions that would otherwise be generated by thermal power stations and leading to improved water supply in the region (World Bank Amoya 2006, World Bank 2006a). Colombia has an estimated potential of 25,000 MW (20 MW), small hydropower, but has not conducted a detailed study of the full potential for micro hydro stations due to the complexity of studying the thousands of small rivers in the country (Perez and Osorio 2002).

Hydroelectric projects under construction until 2010


Capacity in megawatts (MW)



Guarino Transfer

- -

Rio Amoyá


Rio Manso


Porce III



Total MW

> 1193

For further information check out altenergy.org for more resources on Hydroelectricity.