Hydropower is by far the first renewable source in the world.
Hydroelectric energy is the main renewable source, since it triples that of wind, which, with 350 GW, is the second. The contributions of this technology in recent years have generated more electricity than the rest of the renewable energies combined.
Hydropower has many advantages, including:
Sustainability: Promotes the reduction of greenhouse gases that are emitted
Duration: Presents a long useful life
Flexibility: The stored water can be used flexibly, thus facilitating the management of energy demand peaks
Costs: Although the initial investment is high, the operating costs are low
Reuse: For this resource, rainwater is used and this in turn is reusable
This is the ranking of the countries with the highest installed hydraulic power in 2018 (measured in gigawatts)
Hydroelectric energy is obtained through the use of kinetic energy and the potential of currents and waterfalls.
This source of energy is one of the oldest and most widely used on the planet. Today, China is the world’s largest producer of hydroelectric energy, followed by Brazil, Canada, the United States and Russia.
Next, we present the ranking of the 5 largest hydroelectric power plants in the world:
1. The Three Gorges Hydroelectric Plant, China - 2,500MW
China’s Three Gorges hydroelectric power station has an installed capacity of 22,500 MW. This hydroelectric plant is located in Yichang, Hubei province, and is the largest in the world. It took 18,000 million euros to build the project. This colossal engineering work began in 1993 and was completed in 2012. The dam is 181 meters high and 2,335 meters long. The plant’s annual energy production broke the world record in 2014 with 98.8 TWh, enabling it to supply electricity to nine provinces and two cities, including Shanghai.
2. Itaipú hydroelectric plant, Brazil-Paraguay - 14,000 MW
The Itaipu hydroelectric plant is the second largest in the world, with an installed capacity of 14,000 MW. The investment made to carry out the construction was 15,000 million euros. The works began in 1975 and were completed in 1982.
The Itaipu hydroelectric plant supplies around 17.3% of the energy consumption of all of Brazil and 72.5% of the energy consumed in Paraguay. This hydroelectric plant manages to achieve a production practically equal to that of Three Gorges, reaching 98.5 TWh, which makes it practically a world co-leader in terms of power generation, even if it is not in terms of installed power.
3. Xiluodu hydroelectric plant, China - 13,860 MW
This hydroelectric plant is the second largest in China and the third largest in the world in terms of size and power.
The project required an investment of 5.5 billion euros. Construction began in 2005 and the first turbines were commissioned in July 2013.
4. Guri hydroelectric plant, Venezuela - 10,235 MW
The Guri plant, also known as the Simón Bolívar hydroelectric plant, is positioned as the fourth largest in the world.
Today the Guri plant achieves an electricity supply of more than 12,900 GW / h.
5. Tucuruí hydroelectric plant, Brazil - 8,370 MW
The Tucuruí Hydroelectric Complex, located in Brazil, ranks as the fourth largest hydroelectric plant in the world with its 8,370 MW. The construction of the project required an investment of 4,000 million euros. The works began in 1975, completing the first phase in 1984.
Construction of the second phase was completed at the end of 2010. Currently, the plant supplies electricity to the city of Belém and its periphery.