With all the attention garnered by solar, wind, and geothermal energy, it may be surprising to learn that hydropower accounts for more electricity production than all of the aforementioned forms of energy – combined.
Considered an “older” and already developed form of renewable energy, fewer hydropower projects are under development. Likely, there are comparatively few hydropower plants in the US, and those that exist have much lower adjusted gross revenue.
In FY2012, hydropower was responsible for almost 17% of the entire world’s electricity production. While solar and wind may be faster growing sectors, hydropower has a higher energy capacity overall. Four of the top four most powerful power plants in the world use hydropower. However, despite hydropower’s dominance among renewables, growth in consumption of hydroelectricity will likely continue to stagnate, in many cases simply because the best sites for dams have already been developed.
Asia is still fervently developing hydropower, as the Asia-Pacific accounts for more than 35% of global hydroelectric consumption – a 50% increase from a decade ago. It is likely that Asia will need to carry the industry from an innovation perspective, but hydropower is here to stay when it comes to leading the world in production of renewable electricity.
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