U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Water Power Program
Report: Hydropower Could Double Globally by 2050
November 14, 2012
The International Energy Agency (IEA) and Brazil on October 29 released a report about how to double hydroelectricity production worldwide by 2050. The report, Technology Roadmaps: Hydropower, challenges the notion that the world's hydroelectric resources have peaked. Instead, it says emerging economies have significant potential to generate electricity from large plants. The publication details action needed from policy makers and addresses other necessary conditions, including resolving environmental issues and gaining public acceptance. Doubling global energy production from hydropower could potentially prevent up to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Hydropower is the world's leading renewable electricity generation technology, with new capacity additions since 2005 generating more electricity than all other renewables combined. The report describes the sector's diversity, ranging from run-of-river to reservoir plants and pumped-storage hydropower, and calls for a holistic approach to deployment that considers other aspects of water management.
Among the report's recommendations is the suggestion that stakeholders should establish or update the inventory of hydropower potential as well as set hydropower development plans with targets. See the IEA press release.