New report by Worldwatch Institute is described below. Here's the
Report says worldwide development of hydroelectric power slow in 2011
New research from the Worldwatch Institute suggests that growth in
hydroelectric power development tapered in 2011, according to a
recently published report.
The institution said that worldwide consumption and installed capacity
of hydropower have increased steadily since 2003, though the global
installed capacity of hydro projects increased just 970 GW -- or 1.6%
-- in 2011 from the previous year.
The report also noted that geothermal growth has also slowed, dipping
to below a 1% increase for the first time since 2002.
Both forms of power generation still offer distinct advantages,
however, according to Worldwatch Institute research associate Evan
"Despite the recent slowdown in growth, the overall market for
hydropower and geothermal power is increasing in part because these
two sources are not subject to the variability in generation that
plagues other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar,"
Musolino said. "The greater reliability of hydro and geothermal can
thus be harnessed to provide reliable baseload power."
According to the report, the bulk of global capacity remains
concentrated in five countries with China leading the way with 212 GW
of installed hydroelectric capacity. Brazil follows (82.2 GW), then
the United States (79 GW), Canada (76.4 GW) and Russia (46 GW).
Hydropower contributes less to the overall percent of energy usage in
the Middle East, though that region experienced the greatest growth in
hydroelectric consumption at almost 22%. North America followed, with
an increase slightly below 14%. Meanwhile, usage in Europe and Eurasia
fell by almost 9%, and by 0.6% in the Asia Pacific region.
Still, "hydropower continues to be one of the most cost-effective
renewable energy generation sources," Worldwatch Institute said, with
typical costs in the U.S. ranging from $.02-.13 per kWh for existing
grid-connected hydroelectric plants and $.05-.10 per kWh for new hydro
projects. Meanwhile, micro hydro projects generate at about $.05-.40
Despite Worldwatch Institute's report, an article published in the
April 2012 edition of Hydro Review magazine shows continued growth in
the hydropower sector through at least the end of the decade.
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