Global hydropower market capacity is expected to grow to 1,525 GW by 2020. Although fossil fuels continue to be the most popular form of generating electricity, their reserves are fast depleting. Moreover, this type is associated with environmental damage. This has contributed to the development of alternative energy sources such as hydropower.
Hydropower does not lead emit greenhouse gases and toxic waste. It is one of the cheapest sources and offers a huge cost advantage to vendors. The IEA (International Energy Agency) foresees use to hydropower to reduce carbon emissions by about one billion tones, by 2050.
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Flowing water is readily available due to the natural phenomena of rainfall and snow. Based on the requirement, turbines are conveniently adjusted to control the flow of water. These factors are expected to prove favorable for market growth. A significant part of this growth would be through run-of-river and pumped storage hydropower projects.
Hydropower plants vary in generation capacity. They can be categorized into pico-hydro, micro, small, & large. Pico and micro have a capacity of less than 100 KW. While small encompass those with capacities between 100 KW to 30 MW, large include those having installed capacity of over 30 MW.
The worldwide hydropower market is split according to applications and geographies. Applications consist of residential, industrial, & commercial. Industrial applications held about 41% of the total installed capacity in 2012. They would account for 695 GW of hydropower by 2020.
Geographical segmentation comprises North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, & RoW (Rest of the World). Brazil was the largest regional market in Latin America. Asia Pacific could grow to lead the worldwide industry by 2020. China is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2013 to 2020. This can be attributed to several hydropower projects being developed in this nation. The most prominent ones include the Baihetan dam, the Xiluodo project, and the Wudongde & Xiangjiaba dam. China’s installed capacity should exceed 400 GW in 2020, rendering it the most-dominant market.
Key players of the global hydropower market are China Hydroelectric Corporation, Andritz AG, China Three Gorges Corporation, & American Hydro Corporation. Alstom Hydro, ABB Ltd., & The Tata Power Company are some of the other well-known suppliers.