Hydropower is harnessed from the kinetic energy derived from moving water. This power is often found in streams and rivers that flow from hills and mountains. Hundreds of years ago, this energy was used to power sawmills, domestic lifts, and many other domestic devices. In 1879, the first hydroelectric power plant was built at Niagara Falls and soon after began its operation to power a small city in Wisconsin. Generally, a hydropower plant consists of a plant where electricity is produced, a dam to control water flow, and a reservoir to store water. Hydropower accounts for nearly half of the total installed renewable capacity worldwide.
Although hydropower is considered a renewable energy source, large hydropower dams can still be responsible for environmental problems such as disrupting and damaging aquatic ecosystems. Most new hydropower projects worldwide must undergo an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. Small hydropower technologies, are an alternative to large dam facilities, which garnered about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in funding in 2019. The small hydropower market size is expected to grow to some three billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 22 most important statistics relating to "Global hydropower industry".