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East Asia, Pacific remain as hydropower ‘powerhouse’

Its total capacity reached 532GW in 2021.

The East Asia and Pacific region is still the “powerhouse” for the hydropower sector, with a total capacity of 532 gigawatts (GW) including pumped storage in 2021, with a total generation of 1,639 terawatt-hours according to a report by International Hydropower Association (IHA).

It is followed by  Europe with 255GW, North America with 205GW, South America with 177GW, South and Central Asia with 162GW, and Africa with 38GW.

In 2021, the region installed 21,897 megawatts (MW), led by China which accounted for 20,840MW, followed by Laos (600MW), Indonesia (481MW), Vietnam (222MW), and the Philippines (85MW).

“With rapidly growing economies, continued population growth in many countries and an awareness of the impacts of climate change that will increase the pressure to remove coal, the region is likely to remain a new hydropower hotspot for the foreseeable future,” the IHA report read.

IHA added that the region has the highest untapped hydropower potential globally, along with South and Central Asia.

If developed, this can help “relieve stresses” on electricity grides as more solar is deployed, “potentially with less significant land-use impacts.”

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