While Hydropower started out as a small initiative in a handful of countries, today hydro-electric power continues to grow on a steady pass and is generated in over 160 countries worldwide.
Study conducted by Earth Policy Institute, EPI, shows that global hydroelectric power generation has risen steadily by 3% annually since 1965. In 2011, hydroelectricity accounted for about 16% of global electricity generation, almost all produced by large dams around the world. Energy generated from hydro-electric facilities reached over 3,500 billion KWH in 2011.
From all the countries in the world that produce hydropower, China, Brazil, Canada and the United States are far the biggest producers of this kind of renewable energy. Together they produce more than 50% of the world’s hydroelectricity, with China being the biggest producer of hydroelectricity. For the biggest hydroelectric producer, China, the growth has tripled from 220 billion KWH in 2000 to 720 billion KWH in 2010. In 2011, despite a drop in generation due to drought, hydropower accounted for 15% of China’s total electricity generation. Brazil, the second-largest producer of hydropower worldwide, gets 86% of its electricity from water resources. It is home to an estimated 450 dams, including the Itaipu Dam, which generates more electricity than any other hydropower facility in the world—over 92 billion KWH per year.
So while hydropower does not seem that important, with all the green news focused on solar and wind energy, it is a huge power for some of the bigger nations in the world.