A new report from the International Energy Agency says renewables -- including hydropower -- are poised to challenge fossil fuels as the world's primary source of electricity in the coming decades.
According to the IEA report, titled "World Energy Outlook 2012," a "steady increase in hydropower," coupled with expansion in wind and solar sectors, have made renewables an "indispensable part of the global energy mix."
The report says renewables will become the world's second-largest source of power generation by 2015, accounting for about half the production of coal plants. By 2035, IEA says renewable power production will be about on par with coal -- each of which will account for about a third of all energy produced.
The study attributes the rise in renewables to falling technology costs, rising fossil fuel prices, carbon production penalties and continued subsidies for green development.
IEA is an international, Paris-based organization that seeks to promote energy security amongst its 28 member nations.
The agency's most recent World Energy Outlook is available for purchase online here.
IEA and Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy released a study in late October indicating global hydroelectric production could double by 2050.