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    hydroelectricity: Global Potential

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    To understand the future of hydroelectricity around the world, below shows the average annual output of hydroelectricity over the past few years in various regions of the world, together with the estimated output to be economically exploitable in each region.

    In less than 1000 words, comment on the information in the table, and discuss the economic, environmental or other factors that might determine the future of hydroelectricity in each of these five regions.

    Regional hydroelectric output and potential:

    Region - Recent average annual output /TWh y-1 - Technical potential /TWh y-1

    Europe: 750 2760
    Asia: 980 5590
    North America: 670 2420
    South America: 730 2840
    Africa: 97 1980

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    Solution Preview

    Step 1
    The recent average annual output of Europe is TWH y-1is 750 whereas the technical potential is 2760 TWH y-1. This means that only 27 percent of the technical potential of hydroelectricity is being used. In future parts of Eastern Europe is expected in future to experience the highest growth rates. Since 1970s annual production of some existing hydropower stations in Europe has declined. This has occurred in Portugal, Spain, and other Southern European countries. These reductions have been attributed to a combination of average discharge as well as the consequences of long-term changing climate conditions. There has been increasing water stress combined with prolonged low flow periods for some parts of Europe. In Eastern Europe, most of the development of hydroelectricity in the short to midterm is expected to occur as expansion or refurbishment of existing hydroelectric plants. In East-Central Europe, hydroelectricity already represents an important source of power in some countries (a). Some examples are Albania 96%, Croatia 59%, and Romania 37%. In Western Europe most of the regions hydroelectric sources have been developed. In Italy there is evidence that some plans are being planned or constructed. In France the problem is that large hydropower plants are very capital intensive and the liberalization of French electricity market has increased uncertainties about the future revenue streams from hydroelectric projects. The future of such projects is uncertain because of decreasing electricity prices, and lower profitability.

    Step 2
    In Asia the average annual output is 980 TWH y-1 whereas the technical potential is 5590 TWH y-1. This means that only 17.5 percent of the technical potential of hydroelectricity ...

    Solution Summary

    This posting gives you a step-by-step explanation of future of hydroelectricity generation in different parts of the world. The response also contains the sources used.