Over 150 countries use hydro power
Hydro power represents an established, mature source of renewable energy and is the most widely used form of renewable energy.
The major hydro power project types are: run-of-river, reservoir, pumped storage and in-stream technologies. It is a predictable and typically price-competitive technology with one of the best conversion efficiencies of all known energy sources. It requires relatively high initial investment (the construction cost) but has a long lifespan with very low operation and maintenance costs. The levelised cost of electricity for hydropower projects, under good conditions, is typically below the cost of fossil fuel power. This combined with the low development risk due to the widely available capital and operating data means hydro power offers a competitive alternative to fossil fuels.
Technological innovation and research can further improve environmental performance and reduce the operating costs of hydro power schemes.
As a mature technology, hydro power has a well-established talent pool offering engineering expertise to build and operate the plants. The supply chain and service infrastructure to support the power plants are similarly well developed, limiting operational risk and costs.
An Infinis hydro site in the UK