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Hydropower and renewable energy capacity 2008-2019

In 2019, global installed capacity of renewable power reached roughly 2.6 terawatts, approximately 1.15 terawatts of which were derived from hydropower. Through the use of mechanical structures such as dams and watermills, energy through hydropower can be generated from falling or fast-moving water and is a reliable, flexible fuel source.

Consumption Worldwide

Hydropower has come into greater demand over the past two decades, with global consumption increasing significantly since the early 2000s. China consumes the most hydropower of any country by far, followed by Brazil and Canada, each at about a third the rate of China.

Where is hydropower made?

Many of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams are located in China, and to a lesser extent, Brazil, contributing to high hydropower consumption in these countries. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is considered one of the largest hydroelectric dams in the world based on generating capacity. The Three Gorges Dam was completed in 2012 amidst controversy, which concerned the displacement of residents and environmental problems associated with the dam’s maintenance and construction.

Existing renewable energy capacity worldwide including and excluding hydropower from 2008 to 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

2008 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The figures for 2008 through 2017 are taken from previous editions of the publication.

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Statistics on "Hydropower industry worldwide"

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