With the implementation of China’s “Going Out” strategy and “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) as well as the shortage of domestic hydropower market, the scale of hydropower investment along BRI by Chinese companies has expanded rapidly. However, these countries have great differences in politics, laws, economy, hydropower potential, social development and environmental constraints. Due to the inappropriate choice of countries for investment, many failure cases have also occurred. To specifically evaluate hydropower investment in these countries, this paper proposed a six-dimensional indicator system which can represents the characteristics of hydropower investment along BRI based on the analysis of the typical cases of overseas investment by Chinese enterprises. Furthermore, a fuzzy optimal model based on the Delphi-Entropy weight was constructed to evaluate the hydropower investment of 65 countries along BRI as well as a list of countries and corresponding investment grades are proposed. The result indicates that politics and hydropower industry factors are the key determinants of choosing the countries for conducting investment while legal, economic, social and environmental factors should also be covered. In conclusion, the optimal choices for China’s hydropower investment along BRI are Russia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia and the strategy has been given accordingly. Moreover the policy recommendations from the perspective of nation and enterprise level have also been proposed.
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