hydroelectric power plant
Pic credit: Aqua jet

The International Hydropower Association (IHA), has recently released a briefing which indicates that 31.5GW of new hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2016.

The briefing titled, 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower, which precedes the2017 Hydropower Status Report, highlights that of this capacity, 6.4GW of new pumped storage installations, almost double the amount commissioned the previous year.

At the end of 2016, the world’s total installed hydropower capacity reached 1,246GW, including 150GW of pumped storage.

Report identifies BRICS members

According to the IHA briefing, China continues to lead in terms of the volume of new hydropower capacity, installing 11.7GW in 2016, including 3.7GW of pumped storage.

Brazil also saw significant advances, installing 6.4GW, including the completion of the 3.75GW Jirau project. Read more…

Trends in the market

In addition, the briefing outlines the most significant current trends affecting hydropower, identified through IHA’s year-round media monitoring, outreach, and annual survey of the sector.

“Ultra-high voltage transmission is connecting hydropower to markets, as the concept of ‘global energy interconnection’ is being implemented regionally and on an inter-continental scale to enable the massive growth in renewable energy technologies to meet global energy demand,” the IHA noted.

Adding: “Progress in reporting on hydropower’s carbon footprint is noted in the briefing too. An international research initiative has developed a framework for calculating the net greenhouse gas emissions of freshwater reservoirs, in which pre-impoundment emissions specific to each reservoir will now be considered, as well as the multiple services provided by the reservoir.”

Other notable sector trends identified by IHA include the establishment of initiatives to manage the risk profile of hydropower, increased integration of renewables to support grid stability, and new priorities emerging on smart modernisation and digitisation of assets. Read more…

Richard Taylor, chief executive of IHA, said: “The latest data shows that the hydropower sector is continuing to grow steadily across the world, and we are seeing a renaissance in pumped storage development.

“This is indicative of hydropower’s increasingly important role in providing flexible support to renewable energy systems, as countries around the world take steps to meet the carbon reduction goals set out in the Paris Agreement.”

Download the full briefing here.

Featured image: Aqua jet