The Role of Hydroelectric Power in the Energy Transition

As the world is transitioning towards cleaner sources of energy, hydroelectric power is playing an important role in providing clean, renewable energy. Hydroelectric power is the generation of electricity through the use of flowing water. This type of power has been around for centuries, but it is gaining more popularity as a reliable source of energy in the modern world. In this article, we will look at the role of hydroelectric power in the energy transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Why Hydroelectric Power?

Hydroelectric plants use falling water to generate electricity. This method of generating electricity is considered a clean and renewable energy source because it does not emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Additionally, the generation of electricity from flowing water is a continuous process, which means that it can provide a steady supply of power without interruption. Hydroelectric power has the capacity to generate large amounts of electricity, which makes it an ideal candidate for large-scale applications.

Role of Hydroelectric Power in the Energy Transition

Hydroelectric power has emerged as one of the key players in the global energy transition. The International Hydropower Association reports that hydropower currently accounts for 17% of the world’s electricity generation, with more than 1,300 GW of installed capacity. This is expected to grow, with the International Energy Agency projecting that hydropower will increase by 60% by 2040.

Fuel Diversity

Hydroelectric power offers fuel diversity in the energy mix. This diversity is essential in ensuring a stable supply of power in the face of fluctuating energy prices and supply constraints. Hydroelectric power tends to be less variable over time than other renewable sources such as wind or solar. This predictability makes it an essential contributor to the energy mix, especially in regions with high renewable penetration.

Energy Storage

Electricity cannot be stored easily, which makes it challenging to match supply with demand. Hydroelectric power provides a viable solution to this problem with its ability to store energy. Hydroelectric plants can operate as both generators and pumps, allowing them to store energy during times of low demand and release it when needed. This makes hydroelectric power an excellent complementary source of energy, especially where other renewable sources are less reliable.

Reduced Carbon Emissions

Hydroelectric power is seen as a clean source of energy because it produces minimal to no harmful byproducts or emissions. It offers a significant reduction in carbon emissions, which has become an important consideration in the current transition to cleaner energy sources. Hydroelectric power can, therefore, contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Job Creation

The development and operation of hydroelectric power plants have been found to create job opportunities for the local community. This type of power generation offers a wide range of roles, from engineering, installation, operation to maintenance. Hydroelectric power plants are also known to stimulate economic growth in the regions where they are developed. This includes improved infrastructure, stable energy supply and increased investment.

Challenges Faced by Hydroelectric Power

While hydroelectric power plays a crucial role in the energy transition, there are several challenges associated with the technology. Drought conditions, for instance, can reduce the amount of water that is available to generate electricity. This can affect the stability and reliability of the power supply. Additionally, the construction of dams can negatively impact river ecosystems and biodiversity.


Hydroelectric power has emerged as an essential contributor to the energy transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. While challenges associated with the technology exist, the benefits of hydroelectric power outweigh its drawbacks. As the world continues to search for cleaner energy sources, hydroelectric power is expected to continue playing an essential role in the transition to a more sustainable future.

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