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Tapping East Asia and Pacific's Hydropower Potential

The region's momentous energy demand growth holds promise for strengthening environmental sustainability through the promotion of hydropower and non-hydro renewables. In EAP, hydropower’s contribution to electricity generation (20 percent in 2002) is lower than in all developing countries (26 percent) and in the world (22 percent).

And EAP is yet to exploit most of its hydropower potential. In 2003, China’s generated hydropower was 23 percent of the country’s economically exploitable hydropower potential. The corresponding numbers for Indonesia and Vietnam were 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively. By comparison, Norway produced 87 percent, Japan 88 percent, and the United States 72 percent of their economically exploitable potentials. With high electricity demand growth expected for the next decade, aggressive development of cheap, clean hydropower can bring environmental and economic rewards. Non-hydropower renewables present a similar prospect although at a smaller scale in the East Asia and Pacific region. They accounted for 1.3 percent of the region's generated electricity in 2002 (China: 0.6 percent) compared to 12.8 percent in the Europen Union and 2.1 percent globally.

EAP governments and donors have the opportunity today to lay the foundations for significant scale-up of renewable energy over the coming decades.

 

hydro power potential
 




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