Water Journal : Water Journal August 2012
industry news Why Small Hydropower is Making a Splash Support from governments around the world is making hydropower a key renewable energy source, and small hydropower (SHP) plants in particular are exhibiting impressive growth thanks to numerous advantages over larger plants, states a new report by energy market analysts GlobalData. According to the report, the global installed hydropower capacity increased from 896.9 Gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 1,072.1 GW in 2011, and is expected to climb to 1,443 GW by 2020, thanks to support from governments around the world. Renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular as conventional sources become more expensive due to decreasing reserves, and countries aim to minimise their carbon footprint. GlobalData's research suggests that thanks to its reliable and affordable nature, SHP has emerged as one of the most favoured and promising solutions. Small and mini hydro facilities are gaining importance as their effect on the environment, and national budgets, is lighter. The construction of SHP plants does not disturb the local habitat and the building of large dams and reservoirs is unnecessary, thereby avoiding issues of deforestation and submergence. SHP plants are consequently much quicker to construct and also offer higher rates of return due to the low capital investment and operational and maintenance costs. Their implementation also carries positive social benefits as they encourage community participation and capitalise on local skills for plant construction. China is the biggest SHP market globally, accounting for 55.3% of the cumulative installed capacity in 2011. China has installed 59 GW of small hydro and is expected to take the lead among small hydro countries. China is followed by India and the US, with 9% and 6.9% of the SHP installations, respectively. GlobalData predicts cumulative installed capacity of SHP to grow from a 2011 figure of 106.7 GW to 137.8 GW by 2020, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.9%. Go to: www.globaldata.com for the full report. Climate Change Adaptation Framework Launched In response to the impacts of climate change on the built environment, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) Climate Change Task Group has launched a 10-point framework aimed at improving the resilience of our urban communities against extreme weather events and predicted future climate change. David Parken, Chair of the Climate Change Task Group and CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects, launched the framework during the BEMP (Built Environment Meets Parliament) 2012 summit in Canberra in June. "The experts agree that climate change is happening and Australia, with its experience of floods, droughts, storms and bushfires, can anticipate an increase in general temperatures and an upsurge in extreme weather events which all have an impact on our buildings and communities," Mr Parken said.
Water Journal September 2012-1
Water Journal July 2012