Global Small Hydropower Market: China and India Make Asia Pacific a Highly Profitable Region


According to the findings of a recent report by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global small hydropower market is highly competitive in nature and is high dependent on government regulations as well as energy targets. Some of the leading companies identified by the report in the global small hydropower market are Siemens, ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, Alstom S.A., Voith GmbH, BC Hydro, and StatKraft AS.

As per the projections of the report, the demand in the global small hydropower market will increment at a CAGR of 2.85% during the forecast period of 2015 to 2023, estimated to reach an installed capacity of 146.65 GW before 2023 ends, significantly up from the global capacity of 94.70 GW in 2014. Some of the other key vendors operating in this market are Derwent, Agder Energi, Lanco, Hydro Power, StatKraft, Fortum Oyj, and RusHydro. In the near future, replacement of existing plants and focus on refurbishment is expected to be the common strategy by the leading vendors to increase their company’s operational activities.

Asia Pacific Most Lucrative Region

This report on the global small hydropower market gauges its potential in the regions of North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and South and Central America. Currently, Asia Pacific is most profitable region, accounting for more than two third of the global demand for small hydropower in 2014. China was the biggest contributor to this high demand from Asia Pacific, as the country is ranked first among all nations with SHP installations, followed by another populous country of India. Together with Japan, India and China are expected to maintain Asia Pacific as most lucrative region for the vendors of the small hydropower market, gaining traction from government initiatives to promote the green energy alternatives with tax credits and other incentives.

The same year, 2014, Europe was second most profitable region, gaining maximum demand from Italy, wherein large funding is available the installation of small hydropower systems. The country also has strong inclination towards renewable resources of energy with a well-structured energy policy. While economic slowdown is expected to hider the expansion of the SHP market in Europe, North America will continue to provide opportunities for the players, with the U.S. and Canada as most likeable countries.

Low Investment Cost and Long Life-cycle Driving Demand

Positive outlook on renewable energy, its suitability for rural and remote areas, low capital investment, low generation cost, and increasing electricity consumption owing to escalating population across the globe, are some of the key regions driving the demand in the global small hydropower market. Small hydropower related to the generation of small-scale hydroelectricity power, which serves moderate-sized communities. These systems are efficient and greenhouse gas emission-free renewable sources of electricity that can be used for both off-grid and on-grid applications. Small hydropower systems are constructed on the rivers or existing dams, and comprise turbines, reservoirs, transformers, and generators.

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Another prominent factor augmenting the demand in the small hydropower market is its long life-span, of about 50 years, which makes it a reliable investment with economic benefits to go with. As per the TMR author, the maintenance and operation cost of small hydropower is merely 2% to 3% of the overall initial investment, which also prompts adoption significantly. On the other hand, stream expansion limitation and climate and logistics costs are some of the challenges faced by this market.

The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, “Small Hydropower Market, by Installed Capacity – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth Trends, and Forecast 2015  –  2023.” 

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As one of the lead news writers on CMFE News, Ganesh’s specialization lies in the science and technology domains. His passion for the latest developments in cloud technology, connected devices, nanotechnology, and virtual reality, among others, shines through in the most recent industry coverage he provides. Ganesh’s take on the impact of digital technologies across the science, technology, and business domains gives his writing a fresh and modern outlook.

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