Hydropower is a clean renewable energy source. Snow and rainfall, creating streams and rivers, renew the source.
Buying Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) from hydropower guarantees that the renewable energy consumed is from this source.
Historically people have used rivers for agriculture and to power watermills and sawmills for example. Today, rivers are re-directed through hydro generators to produce electricity.
Hydropower categories include:
Reservoir production: Water is stored in reservoirs, with the flow controlled to produce an even supply. Pump storage plants pump water upstream during periods of low demand. The water is released when demand is increases.
Run-of-River uses natural river flows, not reservoirs or water storage.
Small Scale Origin hydropower plants are those with less than 20 MW capacity.
A large share of the world’s power production comes from hydropower. In Norway, hydropower represents approximately 99% of the total electric power production. With 136 TWh of production as of 2020, this is the highest volume in Europe.
Norway has more than 100 years’ experience and world-class competence in building and operating hydropower plants. Over the past decades, older installations have been upgraded to increase operational efficiency. The operations are also designed to reduce the impact on the environment and help improve local biodiversity.
Hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity in the world, producing around 17% of the world’s electricity from over 1 307 GW of installed capacity. Annual net capacity growth has slowed in recent years, due to fewer large projects being developed in China and Brazil. However, cumulative capacity is still expected to increase by an additional 230 GW by 2030 (IEA).