Hydropower consumption - top countries 2019

The largest consumers of hydropower include China, Brazil, and Canada. Hydropower consumption in these countries totaled 11.32 exajoules, 3.56 exajoules, and 3.41 exajoules, respectively. Several provinces in Canada produce over 90 percent of their energy through hydropower. Due to plentiful and vast water bodies, Canada’s hydroelectricity potential is still much higher than its current consumption of hydro energy. Many of Canada’s hydropower facilities were constructed prior to 1990 and thus major rehabilitation and modernization of its power plants are essential.

Global hydropower

Hydropower consumption has generally increased over the last decades, reaching 37.64 exajoules in 2019. It is one of the leading renewable sources worldwide due to its flexibility and consistency. Hydropower has long been capable of meeting base load electricity requirements and can meet peak and unexpected demand. There are three main types of hydropower stations. Run of river stations generate electricity through energy derived from river flow, reservoirs generate power by releasing stored water, and pumped storage facilities pump stored water back up to a higher reservoir to be re-released.

Leading countries by hydropower consumption in 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Based on gross generation from renewable sources including wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and waste, and not accounting for cross-border electricity supply. Converted on the basis of thermal equivalence assuming 38 percent conversion efficiency in a modern thermal power station.

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Statistics on "Hydropower in the UK"

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