Hydropower generation globally by key countries 2018

This statistic displays global hydropower generation in 2018, by leading country. During this year, Russia's hydropower facilities generated some 184 terawatt hours of energy. China is the leading country in terms of hydroelectricity generation, capacity and number of new developments.

Hydroelectricity in Brazil

China and Brazil lead the world in hydropower generation in 2018, totaling 1,233 terawatt hours and 418 terawatt hours, respectively. In 2017, about 9.1 percent of the total hydropower energy consumption worldwide occurred in Brazil. Over three-quarters of the country’s electric power supply relies on hydroelectric power.

Much of Brazil’s hydropower potential arises from the northern Amazon River basin. However, the majority of the country’s population lives along the eastern coast as well as the southern parts of the River. The distance and separation of the majority of the country’s hydroelectric resources and its demand has caused some reliability issues, for example, the 2014 drought led to many blackouts in various regions across the nation. As of 2017, Brazil planned to add 3.4 gigawatts of hydropower capacity. A Belo Monte dam along the Xingu River is expected to be completed in 2019 and will be the second-largest dam in Brazil (and third-largest dam in the world). Its projected cost is expected to reach upwards of 13 billion U.S. dollars. Currently, the Itaipu Dam runs between Brazil and Paraguay along the Paraná River. It is the second-largest dam in the world and has a generating capacity of 14,000 megawatts. However, the construction of large new hydroelectric power plants can create environmental impacts that alter important ecosystems, such as altering the primary flow of water systems.

Worldwide hydropower generation in 2018, by major country

Hydropower generation in terawatt hours
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Release date

May 2019



Survey time period


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