A new briefing from the International Hydropower Association has indicated that 33GW of new hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2015 worldwide, including 3.2GW of pumped storage.
According to the briefing - 2016 Key Trends in Hydropower - at the end of 2015, the world's total installed hydropower capacity reached 1211GW, including 145 GW of pumped storage.
Most of this new hydropower capacity was found in China, with the country seeing installed capacity reach 320GW last year according to the China Electricity Council. The IHA's briefing also points out China's increasing global influence as a sector trend, with China Three Gorges Corporation for example becoming the second-largest private power generator in Brazil, after purchasing concessions to operate two hydropower stations totalling 5 GW.
Increased activity in Africa is also featured in the briefing, with several transformative projects having recently been completed or nearing completion in Ethiopia, Guinea and Zambia.
"The latest data shows that the hydropower sector is continuing its strong growth trend across the world," said Richard Taylor, IHA chief executive. "The new Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate action have emphasised hydropower's vital role in meeting the world's energy, water and climate challenges.
"Through its ability to support clean energy systems and provide multiple water services, hydropower can be the key to realising the ambitious global targets outlined at COP21."