hydroelectric power plant
Pic credit: Aqua jet

Building on statistics published by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) earlier this year, the ‘2016 Hydropower Status Report’ highlights that 33.7GW of new installed hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2015, including 2.5GW of pumped storage.

At the end of 2015, the world’s total installed hydropower capacity reached 1,212GW, including 145GW of pumped storage.

Global hydropower trends

Alongside comprehensive hydropower statistics, the report provides detailed regional analysis and insights into global developments and trends in the sector, including the expected impacts of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate action.

The 2016 edition is expected to be widely cited as the most up-to-date source of statistics on hydropower development worldwide.

Earlier this year, ESI Africa  highlighted a few of the key findings in an IHA briefing titled ‘2016 key trends in hydropower’. These highlights provided a snapshot of global installed hydropower capacity in 2015 and the continued traction that it shows for the future.

According to the briefing, despite volatile climate change impacts, affecting all parts of the globe, 2015 saw a total of 33GW of newly installed hydropower capacity globally, including 2.5GW1 of pumped storage – bringing the world’s total installed capacity to 1,211GW. Total hydropower generation for the year is estimated at 3,975 TWh2.

China continued to dominate the hydro market for new development and total installed capacity, adding 19.4GW of new capacity, including 1.2GW of pumped storage.

Following this lead included South and Central Asia (5.5GW), South America (3.4GW), East Asia and Pacific (2.7GW), North and Central America (1GW), Africa (0.7) and Europe (0.3GW).

The 2016 Hydropower Status Report

The full status report includes in-depth reviews on key issues in hydropower development and policy, such as financial trends and climate resilience, as well as sustainability topics such as resettlement and indigenous peoples. The report also includes regional overviews and country profiles which cover developments in the sector around the world.

The 2016 Hydropower Status Report‘ is built on data from IHA’s global hydropower database, which has been developed in close collaboration with regulators, ministries and electricity associations, as well as the world’s station owners and operators.

This database contains information on over 11,000 of the world’s hydropower stations.

Richard Taylor, chief executive of IHA, said: “ ‘The 2016 Hydropower Status Report’ reflects a dynamic sector that is evolving to meet the challenges of the energy transition, which has been accelerated further by the recent international commitments.

“IHA continues to identify and advance hydropower’s role in enabling clean energy systems, responsible freshwater management and solutions for climate change.”