Only East Asia can meet pumped storage target by 2050

The region’s capacity growth will be largely driven by China.

East Asia, led by China, alone can achieve the 420-gigawatt (GW) target of the International Renewable Energy Agency for pumped storage capacity globally by 2050.

In the Global Hydropower Tracker, Global Energy Monitor (GEM) found that East Asia has a total of 425 GW of pumped storage capacity, both operating and prospective or those that have been announced, in pre-construction, or in construction stages.

The region’s capacity represents 73% of the world’s total.

READ MORE: Renewable energy surge fuels need for pumped hydropower storage

“Pumped storage capacity is set to grow much faster than conventional dams worldwide, and China is the clearest example of this trend. Pumped storage and hydropower are an integral part of the global energy transition, and the rest of the world should take note of the build out in Eastern Asia,” said Joe Bernardi, project manager for the Global Hydropower Tracker.

China leads the operating pumped storage hydropower market with 51GW or 30% of the global total followed by Japan (24GW), the US (22GW), Italy (8GW), and Germany (6GW).

It is also the market with the most prospective pumper storage hydropower with 407GW in the pipeline or 82% of the total globally, followed by India (16GW), Australia (14GW), the US (14GW), and the UK (6GW).

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