Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Hydropower - Present Situation and Future Potential
Global energy use has risen by 70% since 1971 and continues to increase at the rate of about 2% per year, demand coming from both developed and developing countries. There are many scenarios for future demand and the energy mix that will be needed to meet this.
In 2005, renewable energy represented one-fifth of total power generation. Hydropower is the most advanced and flexible of the renewables and represents 87% of this production. During 2005 alone, 18 GW of new hydro capacity was commissioned. Notwithstanding this, the entire renewables portfolio for heat, power and transportation offers an enormous potential. As far as hydropower resources are concerned, the IHA estimates that only one-third of the realistic potential has been developed.
As seen in Table 7-2, hydro provides some level of power generation in 160 countries. Five countries make up more than half of the world's hydropower production: Brazil, Canada, China, Russia and the USA. Taking Europe as a benchmark (proportion of production in relation to realistic feasibility), hydro can be expected to see a ten-fold increase in Africa, a three-fold increase in Asia, a doubling in South America, and an increase of about 10% in North America. Just for North America, this would equate to an additional 16 GW of new capacity, of which 11 GW is already identified in Canada. While this expansion will be determined by the needs of the North American market, future development in many less-developed regions will rely more heavily on finding long-term funding mechanisms and appropriate partnerships, thus controlling the rate of progress.
Fig. 7-2 (The High Aswan Dam)