Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hydropower - Good to know

Hydropower is today produced in more than 150 countries of the world.

Hydropower is the most widely used renewable source of energy, accounting for roughly 16% of total world electricity generation.

There are three massive hydroelectric power plants in the world, with the capacity bigger than 10 GW: Three Gorges Dam in China, Itaipu Dam at border between the Brazil and Paraguay, and Guri Dam in Venezuela.

Three Gorges Dam' total installed capacity is 22,500 MW. The creation of this gigantic dam was responsible for the displacement of approximately 1.3 million people.

The larger hydropower plants, the ones with the capacity over 10 MW, are one of the most cost-competitive renewable energy sources with costs of 3 to 5 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour.

Hydroelectric power plants emit significantly smaller amount of greenhouse gases than this is the case with fossil fuels fired power plants.

Itaipu Dam has the capacity of 14 GW while Guri Dam has the capacity of 10.2 GW.

Small hydro (which includes plants under 10 MW of capacity) is rapidly rising in popularity in many countries of the world, and is today one of the fastest growing renewable energy sectors.

Hydroelectric power plants have very long lifespan. The only real downsides of building large hydroelectric power plants are high constructions costs and the possibility of environmental destruction if planning and construction aren't done carefully.

China is today the largest hydroelectricity producer in the world. Chinese consider hydro as one of their main sources in a road towards clean energy future.

Paraguay, for instance, is said to produce 100% of its electricity from hydroelectric power plants, while Norway is said to produce around 99%.

China, Canada, Brazil, United States and Russia are world's top five hydroelectricity producers.