Report: Hydropower, other renewables continue growth

The newly released REN21 Renewables 2011 Global Status Report shows that the renewable energy sector, including hydropower, continues to perform well despite continuing economic recession, incentive cuts and low natural gas prices.

Authored by Worldwatch Institute Senior Fellow Janet Sawin, in collaboration with a global network of research partners, the report shows that in 2010 renewable energy supplied an estimated 16 percent of global final energy consumption and delivered close to 20 percent of global electricity production. Renewable capacity, including hydropower, now comprises about a quarter of total global power-generating capacity.

Including large and small hydropower (an estimated 30,000 MW added in 2010), renewable energy accounted for approximately 50 percent of total added power-generating capacity in 2010. In 2010, existing solar water and space heating capacity increased by an estimated 16 percent.

The report was commissioned by the Paris-based Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, or REN21. Worldwatch staff Matthias Kimmel and Will Bierbower, Senior Editor Lisa Mastny, Senior Fellow Eric Martinot and Director of Climate & Energy Alexander Ochs also contributed to the coordination, research, writing and editing of the report.

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Report: Hydropower in India could double by 2017

Hydropower capacity in India is set to double by 2017, mainly due to start up of new hydro projects, according to a recently-released research report titled “Indian Power Sector Analysis.”

India’s hydropower generation potential is 300,000 MW, out of which only 145,000 MW can be exploited, RNCOS, a global market research and information analysis firm, reported.

The Indian government has also made huge investment to set up new hydro projects in North Eastern region that will produce around 14,000 MW of electricity. Demand for power in India is driven by rapid industrialization and urbanization, attracting private and public sector companies to set up new power plants, RNCOS reported.

About 910 MW of hydropower has been commissioned with the help of private players, which constitutes less than 3 percent of the total installed hydro capacity, according to RNCOS.

RNCOS also found that Himachal Pradesh has the largest capacity in terms of small hydropower potential, followed by Uttaranchal, J&K, Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The study has also found that India currently has huge power requirement and the supply may not be adequate in the coming years.

In other news, India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has announced that hydropower projects and other renewable energy projects of at least 50 MW capacity will now be eligible for grid connectivity.

The threshold capacity for connecting to inter-state grid will be 250 MW for thermal power stations, CERC reported.

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