With more money being invested in electricity than oil and gas, for the second year in a row, how does hydro fit into global energy investments?
The International Energy Agency’s recent World Energy Investment 2018 report says more than US$750 billion went to the electricity sector while US$715 billion was spend on oil and gas supply.
Renewables, which includes hydro (and pumped storage), saw investments (combined with energy efficiency) fall by 3% from 2016, and IEA says these investments could fall again this year.
So specifically where does hydro fit in? There were fewer additions of hydro capacity worldwide, and in fact investment in hydropower fell to its lowest level in over a decade, the report indicates, with a slowdown in China, Brazil and southeast Asia.
IEA says the commissioning of new electricity storage capacity decreased around 60% in 2017, largely due to fewer new pumped storage hydro projects. “Traditionally, [pumped storage hydro] projects have constituted the bulk of electricity storage, and remained the largest new source in 2017, largely due to new projects commissioned in China,” the report says.
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