Although a small source of primary energy, at only a fifth of the biomass contribution, hydropower is the largest renewable source of electricity. It has been in use for many years and is now a conventional form of power generation. Hydropower accounts for 2.2% of primary energy supply and 15.9% of electricity generation.
Although there are hydroelectric projects under construction in about 80 countries, most of the remaining hydro potential in the world may be found in developing countries, particularly in South and Central Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Individual countries outside these regions with remaining hydropower potential are Canada, Turkey, and Russia.
Hydropower constitutes 21% of the world’s electricity generating capacity. The theoretical potential of worldwide hydropower is 2,800 GW, about four times greater than the 898 GW which had been exploited by the end of 2008. However, the actual amount of electricity which will ever be generated by hydropower will be much lower than the theoretical potential, because of the environmental concerns and economic constraints.
48% of the world’s hydropower was generated in four countries in 2006, mostly in large- and mid-scale plants in the USA, Canada, Brazil and China. Asia accounted for 27% of the world’s hydro generation, with 797 GWh, an increase from 24% in 2002, due to the large amount of new hydro capacity built in China, followed by North America with 22% (641 GWh) and Latin America with 21% (640 GWh).
In 2007, the largest generating countries were China with 430 GWh compared with 285 GWh in 2002, Canada with 365 GWh (347 GWh in 2002) and Brazil with 371 GWh (283 GWh in 2002) and the United States with 248 GWh (264 GWh in 2002). In the last edition of this report, we stated “Although Canadian hydro generation is growing, China will overtake Canada very soon, if it has not already done so, to become the largest hydro generator in the world.” The comparison of 2007 with 2002 data amply bears out this prediction, and also the growth of Brazilian hydro generation. The recent growth of hydropower in both of these developing countries has been enormous. In the case of Brazil this is partly occasioned by the end of the paralysing droughts which caused serious power shortages.
In Western Europe and the United States, the scope for additional hydropower is limited, as the most conomic sites have already been developed and further expansion is hindered by environmental concerns. potential is second If you are looking for historical data please contact NRG Expert: firstname.lastname@example.org