World seen adding 312,000 MW of hydro, other renewables by 2030

A U.S. agency report predicts global grid-connected hydroelectric power and other renewables generating capacity will increase by 312 gigawatts from 2004 to 2030, at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent.

International Energy Outlook 2007, by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), predicts world installed hydroelectric and other renewables generating capacity will increase to 1,150 GW in 2030 from 838 GW in 2004. (HNN 7/6/06) It says much of the projected growth in renewables generation is projected to come from mid- to large-scale hydroelectric projects in developing nations of Asia and Central and South America.

�Electricity generation from hydroelectric and other renewable energy resources is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1.7 percent from 2004 to 2030,� the EIA said. �High oil and natural gas prices, which are expected to persist in the mid-term, encourage the use of renewables. Like nuclear power, renewable energy sources are attractive for environmental reasons.�

Nonetheless, the report said the renewables share of world electricity production is expected to fall slightly, to 16 percent in 2030 from 19 percent in 2004, because the growth of generation fueled by coal and natural gas will exceed the growth of generation from hydro and other renewables.

Sizable projects seen in developing world

The report breaks down electricity consumption and generation by developed nations, those in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and less developed non-OECD countries.

It said most of the renewables growth in non-OECD Asia is to come from mid- to large-scale hydro. It noted India has about 12,020 MW of hydro under construction and has authorized construction of the 1,000-MW Tehri Pumped-Storage project (HNN 11/23/06) and the Kotlibhel projects of 1,200 MW. (HNN 3/19/07) It also cited China’s large-scale projects, including 18,200-MW Three Gorges Dam, still under construction (HNN 6/13/07), and 12,600-MW Xiluodu, under construction on the Jinsha River as part of a 14-project hydro development plan. (HNN 1/10/07)

In Africa, the report said, plans for several hydroelectric projects have been advanced recently. It cited promised funding for Mozambique’s 1,300-MW Mphanda Nkuwa on the Zambezi River (HNN 3/20/07), plans to expand Mozambique’s 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa (HNN 5/24/07) and build a new 800- to 1,200-MW Cahora Bassa North (HNN 11/24/06), plans to refurbish and expand 520-MW Capanda (HNN 6/13/07) and 180-MW Cambambe in Angola (HNN 4/27/07), and plans for 3,500 MW of renewables, mostly small hydro, in Nigeria. (HNN 2/23/07)

The report said hydropower would continue to provide a significant share of electricity in Central and South America. However, it said Latin American nations also are expected to invest in other technologies, particularly gas-fired and nuclear power generation, to diversify their sources of electricity.

Canada, Turkey continue to lead OECD in new hydro

In the developed OECD countries, grid-connected renewables capacity is projected to increase by 0.8 percent per year to 2030. However, hydroelectric capacity in OECD countries is not expected to grow substantially. Only Canada and Turkey are expected to complete any sizable hydroelectric projects over the period. In other OECD countries, most renewables growth will come from non-hydro sources, it said.

The report only includes grid-connected hydro and other renewables, not reflecting the global growth of community-based, non-grid small hydropower.

Concerning overall electricity supply, the report said worldwide generating capacity from all sources is expected to increase at an annual average rate of 1.8 percent, to 6,014 GW in 2030 from 3,741 GW in 2003. Coal and natural gas are expected to remain the most important fuels for power generation through the period.

International Energy Outlook 2007 may be obtained free of charge from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Internet site,

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