Understanding the role of territorial factors in the large-scale hydropower business sustainability: A systematic literature review

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Over the last decade, the rapid expansion of hydroelectric power generation has required an intense collaboration process between stakeholders. These relationships between the primary stakeholders – governments and large energy corporations – contextualise the discussion regarding governance regimes from a territorial perspective. The different levels of intervention that companies can exercise at the local, regional and national levels influence the various territorially embedded scales, places and networks that enable large-scale energy production. Therefore, the evolving role of borders and boundaries across territorial social groups and material interests influences the reach and extent of conflict/collaboration dynamics. With the purpose of exploring the effects of territorial factors of governance regimes on hydropower sustainability, this study adopts a mixed-methods sequential design approach using content analysis preceded by bibliometric data recollection and processing with high-end visualisation of the similarities mapping technique. These territorial factors can be divided into three separate fields of enquiry: institutional arrangements and spatial fixes, which can be captured spatio-temporally, and the role of local culture; stakeholder interdependencies, which must be studied in terms of the diverse scales on which they must interact to understand territorial-level conflict/collaboration dynamics; and joint actions and adaptative mechanisms that help to explain why changes in hydropower business governance regimes are attached to the territorial context. If we can understand the evolution of corporate sustainability dimensions in certain contexts, we might be able to capture the structured coherence of governance regimes in terms of the action–impact–adaptation cycle in the hydropower industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3249-3266
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy Reports
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Adaptative mechanism
  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Content analysis
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Governance regimes
  • Institutional arrangements
  • Large-scale hydropower business
  • Spatial fixes


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