Hydroelectric power had a banner year in 2017 with a record of 4,185TWh generated worldwide, according to International Hydropower Association’s (IHA’s) 2018 Hydropower Status Report.
The Hydropower Status Report published in concurrence with the Beijing Forum on Hydropower and Future Energy Systems is reportedly the latest edition of the yearly study of IHA. The report highlights the global capacity of commissioned hydropower soaring to 21.9 GW in 2017 and cumulating the worldwide installed capacity to 1,267 GW.
Richard Taylor, Chief Executive of IHA, stated that the report highlighted the essential contribution of hydropower in the context of meeting the world’s energy needs and without which accomplishing the carbon reduction targets supporting the Paris Climate Agreement would have been difficult. He added that hydropower offered storage services which supported the growth in renewables like wind and solar, including water management and protection from floods and drought.
In terms of growth in 2017, the leaders were East Asia and the Pacific region, with 9.8 GW of capacity being added. This was followed by South America (4.1 GW), South and Central Asia (3.3 GW), Europe (2.3 GW), and Africa (1.9 GW). Apart from which, China maintained its position as the world’s largest producer of hydropower with 9.1 GW of installed capacity. And, Brazil (3.4 GW), India (1.9 GW), Portugal (1.1 GW), and Angola (1 GW) reportedly followed.
Meanwhile, IHA stated that hydro implied the elimination of around 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions from sources that were coal-fired in 2017. And, hydropower also avoided the introduction of 148 million tons of air polluting particulates. Meanwhile, pumped storage saw significant growth in 2017, which included 3.2 GW of new capacity that contributed to the world’s new capacity to 153 GW.
The report had contributions from leading energy and environment ministers from Australia, Sarawak, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Scotland, and the UK, which highlighted how investment in hydropower was facilitating national development priorities and the clean energy transition.