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15% of global electricity is generated from Hydropower

14.58 % Share of global electricity
24 gCO2eq/kWh Carbon Intensity

Hydro energy is a type of renewable energy that harnesses the power of water in motion—like rivers and waterfalls—to generate electricity. Although often overlooked, hydro power is one of the oldest sources of energy in the world and continues to play a crucial role in the world's energy infrastructure. It is a prominent component of low-carbon, clean, sustainable, green energy systems, alongside wind, solar, and nuclear.

Hydro power works on a simple principle: moving water turns a turbine, which then drives a generator to produce electricity. In most cases, this process involves the creation of a hydroelectric dam, wherein water is stored in a large reservoir. When electricity demand rises, gates open to allow water to flow from the reservoir through a turbine propelling it that connects to a generator or series of generators producing electricity.

One significant advantage of hydro power is its remarkably low carbon intensity. Hydroelectric systems emit just 24 gCO2eq/kWh, marking it as an exceptionally efficient source of electricity when compared to fossil fuel sources like coal (820 gCO2eq/kWh) and oil (650 gCO2eq/kWh). This low emission rate makes hydro an essential component in mitigating climate change and reducing air pollution.

Globally, hydro power contributes almost 15% to the worldwide electricity generation, testifying to its potent capacity. Individual country statistics further reinforce its potential. Hydropower generates 72% of all electricity in Iceland, 89% in Norway, an impressive 100% in Bhutan, almost 60% in Canada, and 42% in Sweden. These figures highlight the pervasive role hydro power can play in a country's energy mix, significantly reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

Together with other low-carbon sources such as nuclear, wind, and solar, hydro power can play a crucial role in global electricity transition aiming for a low carbon future. They all stand as robust alternatives to fossil fuels, with the additional advantage of being renewable and helping to curb climate change. Whether it's nuclear energy—with its ultra-low carbon intensity of 12 gCO2eq/kWh—or wind (11 gCO2eq/kWh) and solar (45 gCO2eq/kWh), all demonstrate low emissions and high potential for the future of energy generation.

Country/Region Watts / person % TWh
Iceland 4426.6 W 72.2% 14.4 TWh
Norway 2879.5 W 89.5% 136.3 TWh
Bhutan 1321.4 W 100.0% 9.0 TWh
Canada 1092.2 W 59.3% 365.0 TWh
Greenland 1014.4 W 83.3% 0.5 TWh
Sweden 718.3 W 42.4% 65.9 TWh
Paraguay 679.3 W 99.7% 39.9 TWh
New Zealand 580.4 W 61.5% 26.1 TWh
Austria 541.0 W 68.5% 42.3 TWh
Laos 438.3 W 71.3% 28.5 TWh
Albania 355.5 W 99.2% 8.9 TWh
Georgia 318.0 W 72.3% 10.5 TWh
French Guiana 317.6 W 61.3% 0.7 TWh
Montenegro 317.3 W 47.9% 1.7 TWh
Finland 295.6 W 18.6% 14.3 TWh
Slovenia 276.7 W 36.2% 5.1 TWh
Switzerland 263.2 W 42.2% 20.0 TWh
Venezuela 247.8 W 79.8% 61.2 TWh
Faroe Islands 237.3 W 26.2% 0.1 TWh
Brazil 235.4 W 67.0% 441.9 TWh
Kyrgyzstan 227.3 W 89.5% 13.0 TWh
Latvia 225.9 W 56.5% 3.7 TWh
Croatia 213.0 W 41.8% 7.6 TWh
Tajikistan 210.7 W 91.2% 18.0 TWh
Portugal 204.3 W 31.8% 18.4 TWh
Bosnia & Herzegovina 192.7 W 40.2% 5.5 TWh
Panama 188.9 W 64.3% 7.2 TWh
Suriname 186.2 W 35.5% 1.0 TWh
Serbia 185.6 W 34.9% 11.9 TWh
Costa Rica 183.0 W 67.6% 8.3 TWh
Ecuador 162.9 W 69.4% 25.4 TWh
Russia 153.7 W 17.3% 195.3 TWh
Chile 140.1 W 28.6% 23.9 TWh
Colombia 120.5 W 61.9% 54.4 TWh
Slovakia 112.6 W 18.1% 5.4 TWh
Uruguay 108.3 W 26.9% 3.3 TWh
Romania 108.0 W 32.4% 18.3 TWh
France 106.0 W 12.4% 59.9 TWh
Malaysia 104.5 W 17.0% 30.7 TWh
EU 97.9 W 15.1% 381.6 TWh
Vietnam 97.2 W 29.6% 83.0 TWh
People's Republic of China 97.0 W 13.3% 1211.2 TWh
Peru 95.4 W 47.4% 28.2 TWh
Spain 94.9 W 15.2% 39.5 TWh
Zambia 94.2 W 90.7% 16.1 TWh
Armenia 90.0 W 30.1% 2.2 TWh
New Caledonia 87.3 W 6.5% 0.2 TWh
Turkey 85.7 W 19.7% 63.7 TWh
United States 81.7 W 5.6% 241.1 TWh
Italy 78.7 W 14.6% 40.8 TWh
Japan 71.5 W 8.0% 78.0 TWh
Fiji 70.4 W 50.4% 0.6 TWh
Lithuania 67.8 W 12.4% 1.7 TWh
French Polynesia 67.6 W 25.7% 0.2 TWh
Australia 67.3 W 6.8% 15.3 TWh
Argentina 65.6 W 19.2% 26.0 TWh
Dominica 63.0 W 23.5% 0.0 TWh
North Macedonia 61.6 W 16.5% 1.1 TWh
The World 59.8 W 14.6% 4140.2 TWh
Mozambique 56.9 W 80.4% 16.0 TWh
Germany 54.3 W 8.4% 39.7 TWh
North Korea 52.7 W 83.0% 12.0 TWh
Czechia 51.4 W 6.5% 4.7 TWh
Kazakhstan 51.2 W 7.6% 8.6 TWh
Réunion 50.9 W 13.8% 0.4 TWh
Bulgaria 50.8 W 7.7% 3.1 TWh
Namibia 49.6 W 29.3% 1.1 TWh
Gabon 48.8 W 35.2% 1.0 TWh
Greece 44.5 W 8.8% 4.1 TWh
St. Vincent & Grenadines 43.8 W 25.0% 0.0 TWh
El Salvador 43.6 W 29.1% 2.4 TWh
Guatemala 38.4 W 41.0% 5.9 TWh
Angola 38.0 W 70.0% 11.5 TWh
Republic of China (Taiwan) 33.5 W 2.5% 7.0 TWh
Iran 30.8 W 6.2% 23.7 TWh
Equatorial Guinea 30.7 W 31.0% 0.4 TWh
Honduras 30.0 W 22.6% 2.7 TWh
Zimbabwe 28.6 W 40.9% 4.0 TWh
Ukraine 27.6 W 9.4% 10.5 TWh
Cambodia 27.5 W 32.5% 4.0 TWh
Sri Lanka 26.2 W 30.6% 5.0 TWh
Ghana 25.1 W 34.4% 7.2 TWh
Lesotho 25.0 W 48.5% 0.5 TWh
Sudan 25.0 W 60.3% 10.0 TWh
Ireland 24.7 W 3.2% 1.1 TWh
Eswatini 23.9 W 15.1% 0.3 TWh
Belize 22.8 W 8.1% 0.1 TWh
Nepal 22.8 W 67.5% 6.0 TWh
Belgium 21.9 W 2.7% 2.2 TWh
Bolivia 21.4 W 20.0% 2.3 TWh
Cameroon 21.0 W 62.0% 5.0 TWh
Samoa 20.9 W 23.5% 0.0 TWh
Lebanon 19.8 W 4.7% 1.0 TWh
Myanmar (Burma) 19.3 W 41.5% 9.1 TWh
Pakistan 19.0 W 29.8% 38.6 TWh
Congo - Brazzaville 17.6 W 22.4% 0.9 TWh
Guinea 16.9 W 71.9% 2.0 TWh
Uzbekistan 16.7 W 8.1% 5.0 TWh
Mexico 15.8 W 4.5% 17.5 TWh
South Korea 15.2 W 1.2% 6.9 TWh
Egypt 14.7 W 6.8% 14.1 TWh
Azerbaijan 14.2 W 4.9% 1.3 TWh
Luxembourg 13.9 W 1.6% 0.1 TWh
Côte d’Ivoire 13.7 W 30.1% 3.3 TWh
Ethiopia 13.3 W 95.3% 14.0 TWh
Congo - Kinshasa 13.1 W 98.0% 11.0 TWh
Iraq 12.8 W 4.2% 4.9 TWh
Moldova 12.0 W 5.9% 0.3 TWh
India 11.9 W 8.2% 146.9 TWh
Liberia 11.6 W 57.6% 0.5 TWh
Poland 10.7 W 2.3% 3.6 TWh
Thailand 10.4 W 3.0% 6.5 TWh
Indonesia 10.3 W 8.0% 24.7 TWh
Dominican Republic 10.3 W 5.7% 1.0 TWh
Uganda 10.0 W 90.9% 4.0 TWh
Nicaragua 9.5 W 9.5% 0.6 TWh
Papua New Guinea 9.2 W 16.5% 0.8 TWh
Philippines 8.8 W 7.8% 8.8 TWh
Mauritius 8.8 W 3.5% 0.1 TWh
Malawi 5.7 W 70.4% 1.0 TWh
Jamaica 5.7 W 3.2% 0.1 TWh
United Kingdom 5.5 W 1.2% 3.3 TWh
Tanzania 5.4 W 36.2% 3.0 TWh
Kenya 5.3 W 18.4% 2.5 TWh
Mali 5.2 W 29.5% 1.0 TWh
Mauritania 5.2 W 10.1% 0.2 TWh
São Tomé & Príncipe 5.1 W 10.0% 0.0 TWh
South Africa 4.9 W 1.1% 2.5 TWh
Belarus 4.6 W 0.9% 0.4 TWh
Nigeria 4.4 W 24.4% 8.3 TWh
Syria 4.0 W 4.5% 0.8 TWh
Rwanda 3.8 W 51.1% 0.5 TWh
Morocco 3.7 W 2.9% 1.2 TWh
Central African Republic 3.1 W 100.0% 0.1 TWh
Madagascar 2.8 W 33.5% 0.7 TWh
Sierra Leone 2.4 W 85.7% 0.2 TWh
Hungary 2.2 W 0.4% 0.2 TWh
Senegal 2.1 W 5.2% 0.3 TWh
Burundi 2.1 W 50.0% 0.2 TWh
Togo 2.0 W 10.4% 0.1 TWh
Afghanistan 1.8 W 10.0% 0.6 TWh
Puerto Rico 1.8 W 0.3% 0.1 TWh
Haiti 1.3 W 13.1% 0.1 TWh
Cuba 1.1 W 0.6% 0.1 TWh
Burkina Faso 0.6 W 3.9% 0.1 TWh
Bangladesh 0.5 W 0.8% 0.7 TWh
Estonia 0.4 W 0.1% 0.0 TWh
Netherlands 0.3 W 0.0% 0.1 TWh
Israel 0.3 W 0.0% 0.0 TWh
Algeria 0.2 W 0.1% 0.1 TWh
Jordan 0.2 W 0.1% 0.0 TWh
Turkmenistan 0.1 W 0.0% 0.0 TWh
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