Hydro to lead global renewable energy growth

05 October 2011
Source - ESI Africa

Washington D.C., United States --- ESI-AFRICA.COM --- 05 October 2011 - A United States agency report predicts that hydroelectric power will constitute 55% of the renewable energy added globally till 2035.

‘International Energy Outlook 2011’ ‒ published here by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) ‒ said renewable energy sources were the fastest growing sources of electricity generation globally. It predicted that from 2008 to 2035, world renewable energy use for electricity generation would grow an average of 3.1%pa, and the renewable share of world electricity generation would increase from 19% in 2008 to 23% in 2030.

“Of the 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours of new renewable generation added over the projection period, 2.5 trillion kilowatt-hours (55%) is attributed to hydroelectric power and 1.3 trillion kilowatt-hours (27%) to wind,” the report added.

Although renewables have positive environmental and energy security attributes, EIA said most renewable technologies other than hydroelectricity were not able to compete economically with fossil fuels during the projection period, except in a few regions or niche markets. It added that government policies or incentives often provided the primary economic motivation for construction of renewables generation facilities.

The report noted that the greatest increase in hydroelectric growth was outside the developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“In the OECD nations, most of the hydroelectric resources that are both economical to develop, and also meet environmental regulations, already have been exploited,” the EIA said. “With the exception of Canada and Turkey, there are few large-scale hydroelectric projects planned for the future.”

In the non-OECD countries, hydropower was expected to be the predominant source of renewable energy growth. This was due to mid- to large-scale hydroelectric plants to be completed in China, India, Brazil, and a number of nations in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and Vietnam.

The report predicted that world hydropower generation would increase to 5.6 trillion kWh by 2035 from 3.1 trillion kWh in 2008. Wind generation was expected to increase to 1.4 trillion kWh in 2035 from 210 billion kWh in 2008. Other renewables were expected to increase to 1.1 trillion kWh in 2035 from 331 billion kWh in 2008.

Total world net electricity generation was expected to increase 84% to 35.2 trillion kWh in 2035 from 19.1 trillion kWh in 2008, the report said. Greatest growth was expected in non-OECD countries where a large proportion of potential demand remained unsatisfied.
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