The advantages of generating electricity from small hydropower coupled with a rising interest in the sector has led to increased government support policies which will derive installations in many countries in the years to come. Cumulative installed capacity of small hydropower is expected to reach 140 GW in 2015 and 201 GW in 2020.
Global Small Hydro Projects in Development
Pallav Jhala | Global Data
Hydropower is the largest renewable source of power generation and currently accounts for about 20% of the world’s total electricity supply. Hydropower became a source of electricity generation in the late 19th century. Hydropower plants can be classified into large, small, micro and mini depending on its generation capacity. The hydropower systems between 1 MW to 30 MW are generally considered small, though the definition varies from country to country. Small hydropower plants produce electricity on a small scale to serve small communities or industrial establishments. These plants can also be grid connected in addition to the areas where it is used off grid as an economic source of electricity generation or where there is no grid connectivity. Small and mini hydro generally uses existing dams or the dams constructed for other purposes such as water level control and irrigation. At times, old abandoned hydropower sites are also redeveloped for small hydropower generation.
Global Small Hydro Market, Cumulative Capacity Breakup, %, 2009
China small hydro power market
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