The aim of the article was to describe the method of detecting the prospective regions in the Russian Federation for hydroelectric development. The method is based on Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). According to the method, every region is estimated by a decision-maker. The authors of the method elaborated 23 criteria, characterizing the electric power generation and consumption, the current economic and sociodemographic conditions of the regions and also their forecasting. The regions were estimated by these criteria. Data for this study were collected from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, Federal Subjects Development Programs and Power Industry Development Programs for regions. As a result of this method, every estimated region gains a status: prospective, normally prospective and non-prospective for hydroelectric development. The results can be applied to calculate the economic hydroelectric potential. The method was tested for detecting the prospective regions of the Volga Federal District, North Caucasian Federal District, Northwestern Federal District, Siberian Federal District for hydroelectric development.