Hydropower: the unsung hero of renewable energy  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

The Christian Science Monitor has the second article by Robert Rapier in a series on this year's BP Statistical Review of Energy, this one looking at hydropower and geothermal power - Hydropower: the unsung hero of renewable energy. he also uses data from the latest REN21 Renewables Global Status Report.

Hydropower accounts for more electricity production than solar PV, wind, and geothermal combined. In 2012, hydropower accounted for 16% of the world’s electricity production. However, hydropower gets far less press because it is a mature technology with a much lower annual growth rate than most renewables. While solar PV increased capacity by an average of 60% per year over the past 5 years, new hydropower capacity increased at a much more modest annual rate of 3.3%. ...

Despite hydropower’s current dominant position among renewables, growth in consumption of hydroelectricity will likely continue to be modest, because many of the best sites for hydroelectric dams have already been developed. The exception to this is in the Asia Pacific region, where hydroelectric consumption more than doubled over the past decade. The region currently accounts for 35% of global hydroelectric consumption, and that percentage is likely to increase as countries continue to develop hydroelectric power plants. ...

In 2012, at least 78 countries used geothermal directly for energy. Over two-thirds of the geothermal energy for direct use was through geothermal heat pumps. 24 countries operated geothermal plants for electricity production. Total geothermal electricity capacity was 11.7 GW at the end of 2012. Capacity was led by the U.S. with 3.4 GW of capacity, followed by the Philippines at 1.9 GW, Indonesia at 1.3 GW, Mexico at 1.0 GW, and Italy at 0.9 GW. On a per capita basis, Iceland leads the world with 0.7 GW of capacity, which accounted for 30% of the country’s electricity in 2012.

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