The countries with the highest hydropower capacity installations in 2015 include Brazil (91,650 MW, pumped storage 30), Venezuela (15,393 MW), Colombia (11,392 MW), Argentina (10,118 MW, pumped storage 974 MW), Paraguay (8,810 MW), Chile (6,622 MW), Peru (4,190 MW), Ecuador (2,297 MW) and Costa Rica (1,800 MW). Total hydroelectricity output for the same year amounted to 382.06 TWh in Brazil, 79.56 TWh in Venezuela, 59.43 TWh in Paraguay, 49 TWh in Colombia, 41.46 in Argentina and 26.06 TWh in Peru. Total installed capacity in South America totalled in 2015 to 152,813 MW and 1,004 MW pumped storage, with electricity generation reaching 684 TWh.

The region has a great potential for hydropower development, with an estimated 430 GW of unexploited potential. Around 3.8 GW were added in total in South America in 2015, mainly coming from Brazil (2.4 GW), but also from countries such as Colombia (599 MW), Peru (370 MW) and Venezuela (257 MW).

Notable hydropower projects:

• Brazil: Jirau dam (3,750 MW), Santo Antônio (3,568 MW), Teles Pires, Ferreira Gomes and other 52 stations totalling around 156 MW.

• Venezuela: Fabricio Ojeda (257 MW commissioned in 2015, total 771 MW) and Manuel Carlos Piar (2,160 MW)

• Chile: the 19.2 MW Picoiquén run-of river plant and the 5.5 MW Los Hierros 2 plabnt in Colbún.

• Peru: Cheves station (172 MW), Machu Picchu 2 (102 MW) and Santa Teresa (98 MW).

• Ecuador: 60 MW Manduriacu plant, Coca Codo Sinclair (1,500 MW), Sopladora (487 MW), Toachi Pilatón (253 MW), Minas San Francisco (275 MW) and MazarDudas (21 MW); further 2.8 GW of capacity are expected to be constructed in the coming years.

• Costa Rica: Torito station (50 MW)

• Nicaragua: first hydropower project commissioned in 40 years, the 17 MW Larreynaga storage project, which will generate an estimated 73 GWh per year.

• Panama: 32 MW Bonyic station.

Hydropower Production

Hydropower Installed Capacity159GW

Hydropower Production61Mtoe per year

Hydropower Installed Capacity by region

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Hydropower Installed Capacity by country

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Top Hydropower producing countries

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