China has established itself at the forefront of global hydropower development. It has made significant additions to its hydropower market than any other country. Last year, the country increased its total installed hydropower capacity and today it represents more than a quarter of the world’s total.
Hydroelectric power is China’s largest renewable energy source and the second overall after coal. The country is adding more new installed hydropower capacity than the rest of the Asia combined.
China has added 331,110 MW of hydroelectricity generating capacity, far ahead of other Asian countries like India with 51,975 MW, Japan with 49,905 MW and Vietnam with 16,306 MW.
On the other hand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia and Bhutan are the Asian countries with the least hydroelectric generating capacity installed, as per the International Hydropower Association, 2017.
Bangladesh has a total installed hydroelectric generating capacity of just 230 MW, the lowest in the Asia Pacific region, while Nepal has 867 MW.
Cambodia and Bhutan have 1,267 MW and 1,615 MW of installed hydroelectric generating capacity respectively.
Hydropower is the cheapest way to generate electricity and worldwide it is the leading renewable source for electricity generation, supplying 71% of all renewable electricity.
China’s aim is to remain the world’s leading country in electricity production. In its five-year plan on energy development, covering the period to 2020, China has outlined a strategy to minimise reliance on coal, and achieve a minimum share of 15 per cent non-fossil energy: specific targets include an additional 60 GW of hydropower.
The new plan focuses on increasing pumped storage capacity and a major east-to-west transmission expansion.
Source : The Nation