Small Hydropower Market: Introduction
The global small hydropower market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 2.5% during the forecast period. In terms of installed capacity, the small hydropower market is projected to develop installed capacity 170.8 GW by 2030, rising from a net capacity of 130.4 GW in 2019. In terms of capacity, the above 10 MW segment accounted for a major share of the global small hydropower market in 2019. The expansion of the segment can be attributed to the introduction of several projects with capacities above 10 MW.
Major Drivers of Small Hydropower Market
The consumption of electricity has been increasing significantly across the globe for the last few years due to rapid industrialization & urbanization and strong economic growth. The increase in demand for electricity and stringent norms & government regulations to minimize carbon emissions from the power sector are compelling companies to introduce highly effective and pollution-free energy generation methods. Small hydropower is a prominent alternative to fossil fuel, as these plants utilize moving water for power generation. Small hydropower is primarily employed in isolated regions. Small hydropower is a suitable option to generate sustainable as well as inexpensive energy in developing and rural areas due to its low investment costs, versatility, and renewable nature. Thus, increase in harnessing of hydropower resources across the globe is expected to drive the global small hydropower market during the forecast period.
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Prominent Developments in Small Hydropower Market
In December 2018, Voith won an order to design, manufacture, supply, and commission two StreamDivers for the small hydropower plant Gradiste in Macedonia, Europe. The company is also expected to supply gate valves and supervise installation. The power plant is likely to become operational in 2022.
Asia Pacific Leads Small Hydropower Market
Asia Pacific dominated the global small hydropower market in 2019. China held a major share of the small hydropower market in the region in 2019. The dominance of China in the small hydropower market in Asia Pacific can be ascribed to low investment and risk, long service life, consistent profit, and low operation cost of a small hydropower plant. Furthermore, abundant availability of hydropower resources, along with increase in efforts in utilization of renewable technologies to reduce carbon emissions is also a major factor attracting investment for the development of small hydropower resources across the country. The small hydropower market in North America is anticipated to expand during the forecast period, owing to ongoing investments in the development of small hydropower plants, primarily in the U.S., in order to cater to a rise in the demand for electricity. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy announced to invest US$ 24.9 Mn to drive innovative, industry-led technology solutions to advance the marine and hydrokinetics industry, and increase in ability of hydropower to serve as a flexible grid resource.
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The small hydropower market in Europe is estimated to expand during the forecast period, owing to the introduction of several incentives to promote the adoption of renewable technologies. For instance, in December 2019, the European Commission and a consortium of 19 partners launched the four-year XFLEX HYDRO (Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility) project at the ongoing United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain. Turkey accounted for a major share of the small hydropower market in the region in 2019. Turkey held hydropower capacity potential of 6,500 MW in 2019.
Competition Landscape of Small Hydropower Market
The global small hydropower market is dominated by global players. Thus, the global small hydropower market is consolidated. Prominent players operating in the global small hydropower market include Alstom S.A., Voith GmbH, ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, BC Hydro, and StatKraft AS, Agder Energi AS, Ontario Power Generation Inc., Alstom, Siemens AG, BC Hydro, and Fortum Oyj. Market players adopt various strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, investments in new projects, and technological innovations in order to boost their share in the global small hydropower market.