Global Hydropower Day 11th of October
Hydropower, when developed sustainably, has brought major advancements in human progress by spurring economic growth, creating jobs, and improving standards of living, as well as increased energy supply.
More than 2 million people are employed in hydropower worldwide. But the benefits of sustainable hydropower reach far beyond the people who work in the sector.
The advantages of hydropower are many, not only being renewable with low climate emissions, but cost-effective and providing electricity at a competitive price. It also provides a secure electricity supply as it can be used both to generate baseload power (electricity that is always needed) and as balancing power (quickly turned on to meet new demand).
The fact that it is flexible is hydro's true strength in the electrical system and this becomes more and more valuable as we get more weather-dependent power in the systems. When there is no wind or the sun is not shining, hydropower can compensate and ensure that there is always electricity. The single largest renewable energy source.
Around 60 per cent of all renewable electricity is generated by hydropower. The sector produces about 16 per cent of total electricity generation from all sources.
In its 2021 Hydropower Special Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that hydropower accounts for nearly a third of the world’s capacity for flexible electricity supply and has the potential to provide even more.
If the renewable energy that comes from hydropower was replaced by coal, IHA estimates up to 4 billion tonnes of additional greenhouse gases would be emitted annually, increasing global emissions from fossil fuels and industry by 10 per cent. There would also be 150 million more tonnes of air polluting particulates emitted each year.
Investing in sustainable hydropower will help electricity grids to expand renewable supply in a stable and reliable way, without the need to fall back on fossil fuels to avoid blackouts.
“Hydropower is today the world's largest producer of renewable electricity, and we need to leverage that. The future requires a renewable and resilient energy system and hydropower can contribute in a sustainable way, both as a natural battery and as a producer”, says Elon Hägg Acting Business Area Manager Hydro at AFRY
The increasing need for clean energy through the greater use of hydropower is a socio-political necessity today. We are here to make it happen.