Full Title: Renewable Energy Technologies: Cost Analysis Series: Hydropower
Author(s): International Renewable Energy Agency
Publisher(s): International Renewable Energy Agency
Publication Date: 6/2012
Length: 44 pages, PDF
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Hydropower is a renewable energy source based on the natural water cycle. Hydropower is the most mature, reliable and cost-effective renewable power generation technology available. Hydropower schemes often have significant flexibility in their design and can be designed to meet base-load demands with relatively high capacity factors, or have higher installed capacities and a lower capacity factor, but meet a much larger share of peak demand.
Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source, and it produces around 16 % of the world’s electricity and over four-fifths of the world’s renewable electricity. Currently, more than 25 countries in the world depend on hydropower for 90 % of their electricity supply (99.3 % in Norway), and 12 countries are 100 % reliant on hydro. Hydro produces the bulk of electricity in 65 countries and plays some role in more than 150 countries. Canada, China and the United States are the countries which have the largest hydropower generation capacity.