Asia, led by China, continues to be the leading market for hydropower. In the United States, the focus is on upgrading existing facilities.
As the most mature renewable energy technology, nearly 1,000 GW of hydropower is installed worldwide. Orders for hydropower turbines and equipment reached an estimated 39.5 GW in 2011, representing $257.0 billion in associated total revenue from the construction of hydropower plants that use those turbines. Asia, led by China, continues to be the leading market for hydropower and is home to the world’s largest electricity generating facility, the Three Gorges Dam (22.5 GW capacity). Orders for new hydropower plants in China are expected to drop from 12.9 GW in 2011 to 8.5 GW in 2012, though such year-over-year swings are typical in such large infrastructure investments. In the past 10 years, 12.5 GW has been the average annual order capacity in China, with the annual total ranging from 5.4 GW to 23.4 GW during this time. In addition to Asia, Latin America and South Asia are other regions of major hydropower activity expected in the next few years.
The U.S. Hydropower subsegment is expected to drop from $1.2 billion in 2011, to $942 million in 2012. In the United States, the focus is on upgrading existing facilities. In many cases, such as with the Bonneville Power Administration in the Pacific Northwest, hydropower plants are increasingly relied upon to provide load balancing services for variable renewable energy sources.
gross domestic product
The Hydropower subsegment contributed $1.4 billion in increased U.S. GDP in 2011.
advanced energy in action
Advanced Energy Companies
- Gas Turbines
- Other Distributed Generation
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