NewEnergyNews: GLOBAL HYDRO GROWING

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    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    GLOBAL HYDRO GROWING

    Use and Capacity of Global Hydropower Increases
    January 2012 (Worldwatch Institute)

    "Global use of hydropower increased more than 5 percent between 2009 and 2010, according to new research published by the Worldwatch Institute…Hydropower use reached a record 3,427 terawatt-hours, or about 16.1 percent of global electricity consumption, by the end of 2010, continuing the rapid rate of increase experienced between 2003 and 2009.

    "…[A] competitive source of renewable electricity…[average cost] from a hydro plant larger than 10 megawatts is 3 to 5 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour. Hydropower is also a flexible source of electricity since plants can be ramped up and down very quickly to adapt to changing energy demands…"


    click to enlarge

    "…[T]here are many negative aspects associated with hydropower: for example, damming interrupts the flow of rivers and can harm local ecosystems, and building large dams and reservoirs often involves displacing people and wildlife and requires significant amounts of carbon-intensive cement…

    "Five countries—China, Brazil, the United States, Canada, and Russia—accounted for approximately 52 percent of the world’s installed hydropower capacity in 2010…There are now three hydropower plants larger than 10 GW: the Three Gorges Dam in China, Itaipu Hydroelectricity Power Plant in Brazil, and Guri Dam in Venezuela…A total of $40–45 billion was invested in large hydropower projects worldwide in 2010…"

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