Global hydropower capacity increased by 31.5 gigawatts (GW) to 1,246 GW last year, according to the International Hydropower Association's (IHA) recent report.
Of the new capacity added in 2016, 6.4 GW came from pumped storage, nearly twice the amount installed in 2015, according to IHA's "2017 Key Trends In Hydropower."
China was the leading country in the world out of countries that added the most hydropower capacity, including pumped hydro. China installed 11.7 GW of hydro capacity last year. Brazil and Ecuador followed with 6.4 GW and 2 GW respectively.
Total installed hydropower capacity in China reached 331 GW last year, the most in the world. The U.S followed with 102 GW and Brazil with 98 GW.
Drivers for hydropower’s growth include a general increase in reliable, clean and affordable electricity demand as well as the countries' desire to meet carbon reduction goals by using clean energy sources, the report shows.
Total hydropower generation for 2016 is estimated at 4,102 terawatt-hours, "the greatest ever contribution from a renewable source," the report said.
The Asia region generated the most electricity from hydropower last year. Asian countries collectively produced 1,497 terawatt-hours of power, followed by South America with 709 terawatt-hours and North America with 702 terawatt-hours.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic