The global hydropower market is set to increase from $70.9 billion in 2017 to $86.2 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of 2.5%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company's latest report states that a major boost in investment is expected to result in an increased number of installations, led by countries such as China, Brazil, and India, as well as several emerging countries.
Anchal Agarwal, Power Analyst for GlobalData, explains: "Policy support and environmental concerns for clean energy generation are important factors driving the global hydropower market. The recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals, for example, which supersede the millennium development goals, include a special goal related to energy which encourages the share of renewable energy by 2030."
Global power demand is also pushing the market forward, and is expected to increase from around 21.7 million Gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2017 to over 27 million GWh by 2025. Meeting this demand will require an increase in the pace of capacity additions in order to fulfil peak demand requirements, meet emission control, and provide the affordable power. Although electricity demand varies from country to country, they are generally focused on building baseload plants.
Large hydropower plants are the major source for providing the baseload power, while pumped storage plants meet the peak power demand. Cumulative global hydropower installations were 1,211.3 Gigawatts (GW) in 2016, and are expected to reach 1,691.8 GW by 2025.
Agarwal continues: "In terms of individual countries, China will continue to dominate market share, with installed hydropower capacity set to rise from 341 GW in 2016 to 442 GW by 2020.
"In order to achieve its carbon reduction goals, China is quickly exploring low-carbon generation technologies, including nuclear, wind, and solar power. The flexible characteristics of hydropower, including pumped storage, facilitate the increased grid penetration of wind and solar."
According to GlobalData, China is pursuing large-scale projects including the 10.2 GW Wudongde plant, which scheduled for completion by 2020, as well as smaller projects in more remote regions, such as Tibet.
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