World hydro potential

Energy generated from hydropower is an essential part of the solution to the climate change challenge.

When produced responsibly, hydropower production also impacts positively local communities, benefits the local infrastructure, creates jobs and contributes generally to sustainable regional development. Using the energy of flowing water, without depleting it, means all hydropower projects meet the definition of renewable. A technology that has been known and proven for over a century, the impacts of hydropower are well understood and manageable through mitigation and enhancement measures. It offers vast potential and is available where development is most needed.

Of all renewable energy sources, hydropower is the most important and most widely used. Worldwide, it currently provides 19% of the global electricity supply. In some of the northern European countries this even increases to 98%. Significantly however, worldwide, around two-thirds of economically feasible hydropower potential is currently undeveloped. Untapped hydro resources are still abundant in regions such as Latin America, Central Africa, India and China. Countries here also have the highest numbers of people currently without access to electricity.