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New study suggests global hydroelectric capacity has significant room for growth

A study unveiled earlier this week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy shows that global hydroelectric production could double by 2050.

The report, titled, "Technology Roadmap: Hydropower," says emerging economies have significant potential to generate electricity from large plants, potentially reducing fossil fuel CO2 emissions by up to 3 billion tonnes per year.

As the study's authors note, however, a number of policies, conditions and environmental issues must be addressed if hydropower is to grow as they describe.

"Hydroelectricity is a very cost-effective technology already," says IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard H. Jones. "However, new developments face tough financial challenges. Governments must create a favorable climate for industry investment when designing electricity markets."

Specifically, the report urges policy makers to:

IEA previously released a study that contains information about small hydropower projects worldwide.


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