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 95% of the total electric power production. With typically about 125 TWh per annum, 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.
An estimated 31 GW of new hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2016, bringing total global capacity to more than 1,100 GW. China installed the most capacity, followed by Ecuador, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Turkey.