Carbon emissions have increased alarmingly. This is evident from the sales of gas masks amid the smog crisis faced by China. In an attempt to control these emissions and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, nations all over the world are stressing on the need for renewable energy sources.
Hydropower - Insights
Hydropower is a technology that generates electricity through running water. It is produced by harnessing the movement of water as it flows through the turbines of dams. Hydropower accounted for about 20% of the global installed renewable capacity. This figure is expected to rise in the next 10 years owing to the construction of additional plants in India, Indonesia, and China.
There are three major hydropower technologies: Pumped Storage Plants (PSPs), run-of-river plants, and reservoir plants. PSPs use water pumped from a lower reservoir to the upper one. Key PSP plants are located in China, Indonesia, and Europe. Run-of-river plants gather energy from nearby ponds or streams. Reservoir plants rely on the water stored in dams & create electricity on demand.
Pros of Hydropower
Renewable: Hydroelectric energy derived from hydropower plants is renewable. It depends on the number of reservoirs where hydropower plants are built.
Reliable: Hydropower is trustworthy, with few fluctuations. Countries with access to large water resources can bank on hydropower plants for electricity.
Flexible: Water flow can be adjusted in dams according to the required power output.
Cons of Hydropower
Climate Change: Hydropower plants are vulnerable to floods, droughts, or natural calamities.
Environmental Effects: Plant constructions can have grave consequences on the surrounding habitat. They may also damage regional aquatic ecosystem.
“Verdant Power” has planned to install 33-bladed electric turbines along the NY City’s East River by 2017. Each unit of these turbines would produce 35 kilowatts of electricity. If successful, the project can supply power to hundreds of households. Made of layered & plastic fiberglass, “East River” turbines are one of the latest trendsetters in the world of hydropower.
Market - Outlook
The global hydropower market is estimated to generate 1.5 TWs (terawatts) by 2020. According to the “International Energy Agency,” hydropower can help avoid nearly 1 billion tons of CO2 emissions. Favorable policies supporting this technology and the demand for renewable energy in Brazil, India, & China are anticipated to spur market growth.
Industrial segment held the highest market share of 40% in 2012. Demand for these applications is anticipated to be 694.4 GW by 2020. Some of the major players in this market are China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC), GE Energy, American Hydro Corporation, and Sinohydro Corporation.
In-depth research report by Grand View Research, Inc. :