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Hydropower Worldwide Represents 15pc of New Generation Capacity

13 Jun 09:00 by Steve Walia

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The latest Renewables Global Status Report, produced by REN21, has found that global renewables installation hit almost 2,017GW last year, and hydropower installations represented just over 15pc of the new capacity figure.

The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century found that newly installed capacity for clean and green energy grew by c. 162GW during 2016. This represents almost 9pc growth over 2015.

The report's authors also noted that hydropower and other established technologies such as geothermal had also been able to achieve cost competitiveness with damaging fossil fuels in areas where resources were widely available.

Total power capacity on a global scale for renewables was 921GW, excluding hydroelectricity. Hydro capacity - less pumped storage - now represents 1,096GW. The next biggest renewable technology by installed capacity on a global scale is wind energy at 487GW.

Pumped storage is calculated as a standalone and was estimated at 150GW by the end of last year, with fresh capacity of 6.4GW brought online during the year. The report's authors found that this technology was the primary source of commercial-scale power storage and showing positive growth trends.

The countries which have invested most heavily in hydropower are Brazil, China, the USA, Russia and Canada. In terms of jobs, small-scale hydro developments have created 211,000 roles across the world (both direct and indirect, such as in the supply chain and in manufacture), and large-scale installations have created 1,519,000 jobs.

However, even with the good news about fresh capacity, the ambitions of the Paris Agreement are not on track, and President Trump has only recently courted fresh controversy by indicating that he will attempt to extract the USA from the agreement's terms, which were signed up to under former President Barack Obama.