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16% of global power generated by hydro, says report by the International Hydropower Association

The International Hydropower Association has released its “2015 Hydropower Status Report”, which highlights global statistics on new installed capacity, the issues surrounding climate change and the role of hydropower in the energy mix.

In 2014, an estimated 36GW of new installed capacity came online globally including 1.46GW of pumped storage. The top contributing countries include China (21.85GW), Brazil (3.31GW), Canada (1.72GW), Turkey (1.35GW) and Russia (1.22GW).

According to the report findings, the total hydropower generation for the year is estimated at 3,900TWh with an estimated 16% of global electricity generation originating from hydropower.

Hydropower in Africa: 2014 trends

Africa added 128MW of hydro generated power in 2014 however, the report claims that there still remains significantly low deployment, despite large untapped potential and major needs for electricity and water services.

The report said: “The issue of water consumption and hydropower is one that requires further examination, understanding and communication.”

African hydropower projects

In East Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia are developing a 1,000km high-voltage transmission line, which according to the International Hydropower Association, will enable a regional approach to hydropower development.

In 2015, Ethiopia’s 1,870MW Gilgel Gibe III reached completion and is in the process of developing the 6,000MW Grand Renaissance project.

Egypt has been ranked the highest producer of hydroelectric power, excluding pumped storage, with a total installed capacity of 2,800MW, followed closely by the DRC Congo with 2,472MW.

Despite the continent holding 10% of the world’s total hydropower potential, electricity access remains largely uneven with only 290 million out of the 915 million people having access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, the report added.

The report stated: “While climate change brings risks as well as opportunities, more work is needed to optimise hydropower in the face of climate change.

“From building a better understanding of the GHG footprint of reservoirs, to encouraging the better definition of climate-resilient development, to supporting the role of hydropower in helping societies mitigate and adapt to climate change, IHA is working with the hydropower sector and other stakeholders to improve knowledge and understanding on the topic.”