Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source, with the global hydroelectric installed capaci-ty exceeding 1,000GW, accounting for over 16% of the world’s net electricity production and more than 65% of the global power generation capacity from renewable sources.
Hydro power plants can be classified into large, small, micro, and pico-hydro plants. The classification of hydropower plants into the aforementioned segments is generally done on the basis of generation capacity. Generally plants with an installed capacity of over 30 MW fall under the large hydro category. Small hydropower generally encompasses all plants having capacities between 100 KW to 30 MW, which both micro and pico plants have capacities below 100 KW.
Large hydropower plants are also said to have derogatory impact on the environment and wildlife as well as result in floods if not properly constructed. With numerous negative sentiments surrounding such plants, acquiring permits for construction and financing are two of the major bottlenecks hydro-power developers frequently face. China currently has the largest installed capacity of hydropower globally with 281.50 GW in 2013.
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