Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Hydropower - Definitions
This chapter is restricted to that form of hydraulic energy that results in the production of electrical energy as a result of the natural accumulation of water in streams or reservoirs being channelled through water turbines. Energy from tides and waves is discussed in Chapters 13 and 14.
Annual generation and capacity attributable to pumped storage is excluded. Where such installations produce significant energy from natural run-off, the amount is included in the total for annual generation.
It must be recognised that for some countries it is not possible to obtain comprehensive data corresponding exactly to the definitions. This particularly applies to small hydro schemes, many of which are owned by small private generators. Also, not all countries use the same criteria for the distinction between small and large hydro. In this Survey, small hydro mainly applies to schemes of less than 10 MW. However, some countries and other sources of data make the distinction between small and large schemes at other levels.
In the tables, the following definitions apply:
Gross theoretical capability is the annual energy potentially available in the country if all natural flows were turbined down to sea level or to the water level of the border of the country (if the watercourse extends into another country) with 100% efficiency from the machinery and driving water-works. Unless otherwise stated in the notes, the figures have been estimated on the basis of atmospheric precipitation and water run-off.
Gross theoretical capability is often difficult to obtain strictly in accordance with the definition, especially where the data are obtained from sources outside the WEC. Considerable caution should therefore be exercised when using these data.
Where the gross theoretical capability has not been reported, it has been estimated on the basis of the technically exploitable capability, assuming a capacity factor of 0.40. Where the technically exploitable capability is not reported, the value for economically exploitable capability has been adopted, preceded by a ">" sign.
Technically exploitable capability is the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology.
Economically exploitable capability is the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology under present and expected local economic conditions. The figures may or may not exclude economic potential that would be unacceptable for social or environmental reasons.
Capacity in operation is the total of the rated capacities of the electric generating units that are installed at all sites which are generating, or are capable of generating, hydro-electricity.
Actual generation is the net output (excluding pumped-storage output) in the specified year.
Probable annual generation is the total probable net output of electricity at the project sites, based on the historical average flows reaching them (modified flows), net heads, and the plant capacities reported, making allowance for plant and system availability.
Capacity planned refers to all sites for which projects have been proposed and plans have been drawn up for eventual development, usually within the next 10 years.
Capacity under construction and planned relates to all units not operational but which were under construction, ordered or about to be ordered at the end of 2005