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Hydropower global capacity in key countries 2018

Cumulative hydropower capacity worldwide in 2018, by major country (in gigawatts)

by T. Wang, last edited Jun 26, 2019
Hydropower global capacity in key countries 2018 This statistic displays the total pure installed hydropower capacity worldwide in 2018, by region. During this year, Russia had 49 gigawatts of installed hydropower capacity. China had both the highest level of installed capacity and the largest number of new developments.
Hydropower in China

Hydropower is one of the most commonly used renewable energy sources. China accounted for a large portion of the world’s total hydropower capacity, totaling 352 gigawatts as of 2018. In comparison, the United States accounted for 103 gigawatts and Canada accounted for about 81 gigawatts. In 2018, China added 8.5 gigawatts of hydropower capacity. China’s state-owned enterprises operate almost all of the hydropower facilities in the country. In 2015, the hydropower industry in China accounted for 301.25 billion yuan in revenue. Hydropower is one of the most cost-efficient renewable energy sources, however, there are several challenges such as long development periods, social displacement, and environmental impacts. As feasible locations become scarcer, investment into the hydroelectric industry may also decline.

Small hydropower has some advantages over large-scale hydro plants, most noticeably its relatively lower environmental impact. It is a low impact option mostly as small hydro plants do not interfere significantly with river flows. In Canada, it has been predicted that up to 7,742 megawatts of small hydropower capacity will be added by 2050. However, a study conducted in Norway in 2011 - indicated that many small hydro facilities may produce a larger impact than a few larger hydropower projects.
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Cumulative hydropower capacity worldwide in 2018, by major country (in gigawatts)

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