Global installed capacity of hydropower reached 970GW, only a 1.6% increase from the previous year, writes report author Evan Musolino. Hydroelectricity accounted for almost 6% of primary energy consumption among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It played a more important role in other countries - at a little over 7 percent of usage -and these non-OECD nations accounted for 60% of worldwide hydroelectricity consumption. On a regional basis, South America and Central America are most dependent on hydroelectricity relative to total energy use.
Although hydropower plays the least important role in the Middle East, the region experienced the greatest growth in hydroelectricity consumption in 2011, at almost 22%. North America was next, with an increase slightly under 14%. In contrast, usage fell by almost 9% in Europe and Eurasia and by 0.6% in the Asia Pacific region, the report says.
Although some 150 countries produce hydropower, half of the global capacity was concentrated in just five nations at the end of 2011. China remains the leader, with 212GW installed, followed by Brazil (82.2GW), the United States (79GW), Canada (76.4GW), and Russia (46GW).
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