Energy contained in flowing water has been tapped into for centuries. First it was for the mechanical power, and, in the past one century for electricity. Micro hydroelectricity systems, primarily used in homes, small businesses, farms and ranches, can generate up to 100 kw of electricity. They contain a turbine, pump, or waterwheel to convert the energy of flowing water into rotational energy, which is then transformed into electricity.
Such micro hydro electric systems have gained a lot of traction in the developing nations of the world in the past one decade. They are being leveraged to bring about economic development of far flung rural areas, especially in mountainous terrains, where traditional electricity is difficult to provide via traditional methods.
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A report by Transparency Market Research studies the global micro hydro electric market to offer essential information on it. It presents a qualitative analysis of the factors promoting and hindering the market. The report also profiles major companies operating in the market and leverages market-leading analytical tools to uncover opportunities and threats they might encounter.
Global Micro Hydro Electric Market: Drivers and Restraints
Micro hydro electric, like hydroelectricity, is a reliable technology that relies on a non-polluting and renewable resource like water. Unlike solar and wind power, it can be generated round the day and year by adjusting the flow of water. Additionally, it is an indigenous resource, which can be easily integrated with irrigation and water supply projects anywhere. It has shorter gestation period and gives higher return on investment on account of lower upfront capital required. It also has reduced operational and maintenance expenses because of its simple designs. Because of the aforementioned unique perceived benefits, the micro hydro electric systems have been seeing steady uptake over the years. The burgeoning population worldwide and developing economies have also led to the growth in the market.
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Countering the growth in the global micro hydro electric market is the limited exposure to micro hydroelectric generators among people. Besides, small water turbines do not have a strong efficiency, that is, a considerable amount energy is always lost in the process of transformation. Their efficiency level is about 75%. Power is also lost in the pipe carrying the water to the turbine on account of friction. To avoid this, the systematic design needs to be tweaked. All these factors have also hobbled their swift uptake.