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Report shows potential for hydroelectric development in Latin America, Africa

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. 3/26/12 (PennWell) -- A new report from market analysis firm GBI Research says increased government support of hydroelectric power will encourage investments from the public and private sectors.

GBI says such support will lead to the development of "unexploited hydropower potential found in Latin America and Africa" and that hydroelectricity is expected to remain the highest contributor to global renewable power.

The report, titled "Hydro Power Market to 2020 -- Energy Management Strategies and Green Funds to Drive Emerging Markets in Latin America and Africa," examines the regulatory framework and infrastructure in 17 countries to forecast the potential for major and emerging hydropower markets.

Analysis provided by GBI shows that the global hydropower cumulative installed capacity increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% between 2005 and 2010 -- translating to a rise from 601.1 GW in 2005 to 739.2 GW in 2010. That number is expected to rise to 1,051.1 GW by 2020, a CAGR of 3.6%, says GBI.

According to the report, Africa is expected to become an "emerging hydropower market" by 2020, although GBI notes that a lack of proper infrastructure and investment has hindered the maintenance and renewal of existing hydropower plants. An ever-increasing demand and the development of lucrative policies and incentives will help secure future investments though, says GBI.

The company also says South and Central America have the potential to be hotbeds for hydroelectric development -- particularly Venezuela which has, following its energy crisis of 2009-10, used national utility Corpoelec to invest heavily in hydropower projects.

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