Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd
Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd

Hydropower behind target despite increase

Hydropower met 15% of the world’s electricity demand last year which was the first time since 2016 that more than 30GW of new capacity was built in a single year.

The news, from the latest report by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), said that China was the biggest producer, increasing capacity by 24GW. In Europe, the Switzerland, Portugal and Turkey were the largest European producers, closely followed Norway, Austria and Italy. Europe as a whole added 3GW capacity while North and South America contributed 1GW each.

Although there is growth in the sector, the report, World Hydropower Outlook, highlights that more than 700GW is still required to keep the world on track to net zero by 2050.

The IHA said: “Investment at the current rate is insufficient – the report showed that $100 billion (£80.2bn) will be needed each year to keep net zero goals achievable, although currently investment is at half this rate.

“As a clean, green, modern and affordable source of energy, sustainable hydropower has a crucial role to play in achieving global climate and development goals. No other renewable solution can provide the flexibility and grid services at scale to enable the vast amounts of wind and solar energy that will be needed to achieve net zero by 2050.

“It will be impossible to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C without a huge increase in low-carbon electricity generation. But data revealed in the International Hydropower Association’s 2022 Hydropower Status Report shows that hydropower is simply not being developed fast enough. New development is not matching the pace required to meet the International Energy Agency’s net zero pathway, and with most of the additional capacity over the last five years concentrated in China, huge untapped potential in many regions of the world is not being developed.”

Read more on the IHA website.

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