This paper will analyse the relationship between economic growth and hydropower energy consumption. According to the results of the short run causality, there is evidence to support the growth hypothesis in OECD countries with high incomes. There is evidence to support the conservation hypothesis for Brazil, Finland, France, Mexico, the U.S. and Turkey. The unidirectional causality goes from economic growth to energy consumption and suggests that the policy of conserving hydropower energy consumption may be implemented with little or no adverse effects on economic growth in less energy-dependent economies. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.