The hydroelectricity contributes 20% to world’s annual electricity generation. The world is relying heavily on the alternative sources of energy and hydroelectricity is the most preferred one.
Top 5 largest producers of hydroelectricity.
1. China: China is the world’s largest producer of the hydro-electricity and this can be attributed to Three Gorges Dam, built on the river Yangtze, which have the installed capacity of 20,300 MW (this dam is the world’s largest power plant as per the installed capacity). The annual production of electricity in China is estimated at 3,450 billion kwh and out of this 22% is contributed by the hydropower. The dam was completed in the year 2006 and by the end of 2011 is expected to be fully operational and will start generating electricity as per the installed capacity. The country still depends largely on the thermal power as China has the world’s third largest coal reserve.
2. Canada: Canada is second in our list and hydroelectricity contributes around 60% to the annual production of electricity, which is 620 billion kwh. Much of the hydroelectricity is produced and distributed by Hydro-Quebec, a public sector utility company which has the network of 59 dams with the installed capacity of 34,120 MW.
3. Brazil: The country has the annual production of electricity estimated at 438.8 billion kwh with hydro power contributing 83% to this. Brazil has the largest capacity in the world for the water storage. The Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, jointly operated by both the countries, is the largest power station in the world in terms of electricity generation annually and is second’s largest hydroelectricity power station in terms of installed capacity.
4. USA: The next to feature in the list is America; with contribution of hydro power to the annual electricity production at 5.50%. America is the world’s largest producer of electricity with annual production at 4,110 billion kwh. Though, the country is largely dependent on the thermal plants for the electricity generation, the Grand Coulee Dam on the river Columbia is the largest electricity producing facility in the country.
5. Russia: Russia’s annual electricity production is estimated at 925 billion kwh and the contribution of hydro power is around 17% to this. The largest power plant in the country is Sayano-Shushenskaya dam built on the river Yenisei. After the tragic accident in 2009, in which 74 people were killed, the dam is under repair and will be fully operational by 2014. The other important hydro power station in the country is the Krasnoyarsk Dam which is also built on the river Yenisei.