According to the latest report from GlobalData, the installed hydropower capacity worldwide increased from 896.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 1,072.1 GW in 2011, and should reach 1,443 GW by 2020, thanks to the support of various governments worldwide.
As we know, hydropower remains a key source of renewable energy. However, small hydropower plants (SHP) seem to show some momentum and have many advantages over the bigger ones.
Renewable energy rose more than conventional sources becoming increasingly expensive due mainly to declining reserves, and also because countries want to minimize their carbon footprint. GlobalData’s report suggests that by its nature reliable and affordable, SHP has emerged as one of the most favored and promising solutions.
We also learn in this report that small hydro are becoming more important as they perform both a smaller effect on the environment, and national budgets. SHP construction will not disturb the local habitat in contrast to large dams and reservoirs, thus avoiding the problem of deforestation and flooding forced.
SHP plants are therefore much faster to build and also offer higher yields because of lower capital investment and operating costs and maintenance acceptable. Their implementation also brings positive benefits because they encourage community participation by building on local expertise for construction.
The world’s largest market is China’s SHP. It is in fact the study found 55.3% of the global installed capacity in 2011. China has installed 59 GW of small hydro and is expected to take the lead countries specialize in small hydropower. China followed by India and the United States, with 9% and 6.9% of SHP plants.
GlobalData provides an aggregate installed capacity SHP growing from 106.7 GW in 2011 to 137.8 GW in 2020, an average annual growth rate of 2.9%.