Facts and Figures on
Hydropower supplies about 20% of the world’s electricity, a share that has remained stable since the 1990s. |
According to the International Energy Agency, electricity generation from hydropower and other renewable energy sources is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1.7% from 2004 to 2030, for an overall increase of 60% through 2030.
- World-wide, about 20% of all electricity is generated by hydropower.
- The world's largest hydroelectric plant in terms of installed capacity is Three Gorges (Sanxia) on China's Yangtze River, which is 2.3 kms long and 185 m high.
- Norway produces more than 99% of its electricity with hydropower. New Zealand uses hydropower for 75% of its electricity.
- The Itaipu plant located on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay produces the largest amount of electricity in the world.
- Once a dam has been built and the equipment installed, the energy source—flowing water—is free. It's a clean fuel source renewed by snow and rainfall.
- On average, a kilo watt hour (KWH) of electricity costs less than a cent to produce from a hydro dam.
- The Three Gorges Dam displaced an estimated 1.2 million people and flooded hundreds of villages.
- Dams can destroy habitats for animals, but especially aquatic animals, disrupting habitat and breading paths and grounds.
- Reservoirs formed by hydroelectric dams provide many water-based recreational opportunities including fishing, water sports, boating, parks, and water fowl hunting.
Fast facts about hydropower
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