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16.8% of global electricity is generated from Hydropower

What is Hydropower?

Hydropower is power derived from the energy of falling or fast-running water. The moving water is used to turn a turbine, which turns a generator which makes electricity. Most hydropower is made with dams that block a river.


Is Hydropower a low-carbon energy source?

Yes, due to its relatively low lifecycle emissions, Hydropower is considered to be a low-carbon energy source.

The median estimate of lifecycle emissions from Hydropower is 24 gCO2eq / kWh. This is based on the Technology-specific Cost and Performance Parameters report from the IPCC.

Wind11 gCO2eq / kWhLow-carbon
Nuclear12 gCO2eq / kWhLow-carbon
Hydropower24 gCO2eq / kWhLow-carbon
Geothermal38 gCO2eq / kWhLow-carbon
Solar45 gCO2eq / kWhLow-carbon
Biofuels230 gCO2eq / kWhLow-carbon
Gas490 gCO2eq / kWhHigh-carbon / fossil fuel
Oil650 gCO2eq / kWhHigh-carbon / fossil fuel
Coal820 gCO2eq / kWhHigh-carbon / fossil fuel

Hydropower compared to other low-carbon energy electricity sources

Most significant producers of electricity from Hydropower

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Significant changes of low-carbon power due to Hydropower

Region Years Change
Sierra Leone 2006 → 2011 10.3 → 100%
Congo - Brazzaville 1997 → 1999 92.4 → 32%
Mozambique 1996 → 1998 41.5 → 99.6%
Rwanda 1997 → 2006 95.2 → 17.6%
Uruguay 2003 → 2006 99.9 → 42.6%
Lesotho 1999 → 2004 38.5 → 100%
Central African Republic 2004 → 2005 100 → 50%
Tanzania 2003 → 2006 94.2 → 41%
Togo 1993 → 2001 73.7 → 9.2%
Haiti 1994 → 1997 82.9 → 33.1%
Sudan 2008 → 2013 29.6 → 81.9%
Suriname 2009 → 2015 76.8 → 23.6%
Sri Lanka 1995 → 2002 92.7 → 38.2%
Belize 2005 → 2010 20 → 67.1%
Albania 2014 → 2016 60.7 → 100%
Mali 1990 → 1997 100 → 50%
Latvia 1996 → 1998 29.3 → 68.2%
Kenya 1996 → 2000 87.6 → 44.8%
Namibia 1991 → 1997 76.1 → 31.7%
Cambodia 2011 → 2018 2.8 → 49.2%
Burundi 1996 → 2004 90.9 → 42.5%
Myanmar (Burma) 1999 → 2009 22.4 → 75.5%
Montenegro 2011 → 2013 28.6 → 63.5%
Zimbabwe 1998 → 2008 16.7 → 66.2%
Uruguay 2008 → 2014 55.3 → 94.8%
Papua New Guinea 1994 → 1995 29.4 → 60%
Montenegro 2017 → 2019 31.1 → 63%
Nicaragua 1993 → 2000 57 → 16.7%
Portugal 2005 → 2014 15.6 → 59.9%
Lesotho 2013 → 2019 92.6 → 54.8%
Ghana 1996 → 2007 100 → 52%
Haiti 2006 → 2011 47.5 → 12.3%
Uganda 2004 → 2010 99.9 → 63.4%
Croatia 1990 → 1996 25 → 61.2%
Mauritania 2011 → 2019 12.5 → 52.4%
Equatorial Guinea 2011 → 2016 4.1 → 38.1%
Panama 1996 → 1998 78.5 → 49.8%
Honduras 2014 → 2019 38.7 → 71.5%
Greenland 2008 → 2013 50.5 → 83.1%
Equatorial Guinea 2002 → 2010 41.9 → 4.6%
Croatia 2012 → 2014 29.8 → 57.4%
Sri Lanka 2013 → 2017 59.9 → 29.8%
Latvia 2016 → 2017 46.7 → 72.5%
Faroe Islands 2010 → 2015 30.1 → 61.4%
Ecuador 2014 → 2019 47.6 → 78.9%
Angola 1995 → 2000 93.8 → 63.1%
Tanzania 2008 → 2013 59.8 → 29.8%
Uganda 2011 → 2016 64.7 → 94.3%
Rwanda 2007 → 2015 18.1 → 50.9%
French Guiana 2006 → 2016 90.5 → 54.7%
Angola 2015 → 2019 54.8 → 81.1%
Fiji 2000 → 2005 83.3 → 56%
Panama 2014 → 2019 55.2 → 82.1%
Zimbabwe 2009 → 2016 64.4 → 35.1%
Georgia 2006 → 2010 67.2 → 92.5%
São Tomé & Príncipe 2000 → 2005 35.7 → 10.3%
Nicaragua 2007 → 2014 26.3 → 53.9%
Armenia 2001 → 2009 51.4 → 79.7%
Malawi 1992 → 1993 100 → 80%
Madagascar 1994 → 1997 50 → 71.4%
Turkey 2014 → 2019 20.5 → 43.5%
North Macedonia 2008 → 2010 9.3 → 28%
Samoa 2010 → 2014 45.8 → 25.3%
Iraq 2004 → 2005 1.5 → 19%
Guatemala 2003 → 2012 41 → 66.3%
Gabon 2002 → 2014 62.8 → 33.8%
Bosnia & Herzegovina 2010 → 2017 46.9 → 24.4%
Fiji 2012 → 2015 68.5 → 50.3%
Romania 2003 → 2014 32.9 → 59.8%
Togo 2016 → 2018 17.5 → 0.4%
New Zealand 1995 → 2001 83.9 → 63.6%
Dominica 2018 → 2019 39.2 → 23.5%
Madagascar 2009 → 2017 59.4 → 37.5%
Kyrgyzstan 1991 → 1999 64 → 85.9%
Portugal 2017 → 2020 40.3 → 57.2%
Dominica 2004 → 2010 44.7 → 25.2%
Haiti 2016 → 2019 6.5 → 23.4%
Sierra Leone 2012 → 2018 50 → 69.2%
Armenia 2010 → 2018 77.8 → 56.7%
Austria 2000 → 2003 73.1 → 56.6%
French Polynesia 2001 → 2010 22.2 → 44.1%
Burkina Faso 1999 → 2011 33.3 → 8.7%
Papua New Guinea 2011 → 2018 39.3 → 20.2%
New Zealand 2008 → 2016 64.3 → 84.2%
Costa Rica 1995 → 2000 82.4 → 99.1%
Central African Republic 2010 → 2013 84.3 → 99.3%
Eswatini 1999 → 2001 18.2 → 32.3%
Namibia 2012 → 2019 39.7 → 22.5%
New Caledonia 2008 → 2016 27.1 → 9.4%
Slovenia 2007 → 2014 59.4 → 76%
Austria 2011 → 2020 59.8 → 78.1%
Peru 2016 → 2020 50.4 → 64.7%
Estonia 2008 → 2020 1.9 → 22.5%
El Salvador 2002 → 2010 47.2 → 64.2%
Luxembourg 2018 → 2020 22.5 → 10.2%
Luxembourg 2002 → 2010 2.4 → 18.5%
North Macedonia 2012 → 2018 11.7 → 26.1%
São Tomé & Príncipe 2007 → 2013 23.3 → 9%
Serbia 1990 → 1996 20.8 → 35.1%
Ethiopia 2008 → 2010 88.3 → 99.4%
Venezuela 2008 → 2016 72.8 → 58.4%
People's Republic of China 2011 → 2020 18.8 → 33.8%
St. Vincent & Grenadines 2000 → 2014 27.8 → 9.2%
El Salvador 2011 → 2015 61.7 → 50.8%
Uzbekistan 2000 → 2005 7.3 → 18.7%
Costa Rica 2014 → 2020 88.1 → 99.8%
Belize 2011 → 2018 65.7 → 53.4%
Sweden 2003 → 2008 85 → 96.1%
Malawi 1996 → 2005 80 → 93.3%
Mauritius 1992 → 1999 32.7 → 20.8%
Eswatini 2008 → 2014 19 → 30.3%
North Macedonia 1993 → 1999 9 → 20.2%
Venezuela 1990 → 1999 62.3 → 75.2%